Trade mark decision

BL Number
Decision date
21 January 2008
Hearing Officer
Mr M Foley
03, 16
The Procter & Gamble Company
O2 Holdings Limited
Sections 3(1)(b); 3(1)(c); 5(2)(b) & 5(3)


Section 3(1)(b): Opposition failed. Section 3(1)(c): Opposition failed. Section 5(2)(b): Opposition failed. Section 5(3): Opposition failed.

Points Of Interest

  • Comparison of the marks; device of bubbles v ABSORBUBBLES


The opposition under Section 5 was based on various marks comprising devices of bubbles.

Having examined the matter under Section 3(1) the Hearing Officer concluded that the average consumer would view the mark as having an allusion to some characteristic of the goods rather than being a direct description thereof. He therefore found the grounds under Section 3(1)(b) and 3(1)(c) to be unfounded and he dismissed them accordingly.

After a detailed consideration of the matter under Section 5(2)(b) the Hearing Officer found that the opponents’ case required that not only would the consumer see the opponents’ image marks as bubbles but would go on to pick out the word BUBBLES from the applicants’ mark and thus be confused. He did not think this likely and he saw no likelihood of confusion. The Section 5(2)(b) objection therefore failed.

He went on to give detailed consideration to the matter under Section 5(3), but in view of his finding of dissimilarity in the mark this objection had really fallen at the first hurdle.

He reserved his decision on costs pending receipt of submissions, for which he set a time limit of two weeks.

Full decision O/015/08 PDF document78Kb