Trade mark decision

BL Number
Decision date
15 January 2007
Appointed Person
Mr Richard Arnold QC
07, 09, 11, 12
Hyundai Mobis Co Ltd
Exxonmobil Oil Corporation
Sections 5(2)(b) & 5(3)


Section 5(2)(b): Appeal allowed in respect of Class 9 goods and engine oil filters in Class 7. Section 5(3): Appeal dismissed.

Points Of Interest

  • As per summary


In his decision dated 6 July 2006 (BL O/186/06) the Hearing Officer found that the opposition failed on all grounds. Only Sections 5(2)(b) and 5(3) have been appealed to the Appointed Person.

On appeal the opponent submitted that the Hearing Officer had erred under Section 5(2)(b) by comparing the similarity of the respective marks MOBIS and MOBIL in isolation on a yes/no basis rather than the correct approach of treating the similarity as one of degree. Secondly he had failed to apply the interdependency principle as established by the European Court of Justice.

The Appointed Person considered that the opponent’s appeal had merit and went on to compare the respective marks in relation to the goods and services at issue. The Appointed Person noted the similarity of the respective marks and concluded that in relation to engine oils where MOBIL has a reputation there could well be confusion and/or deception. The Appointed Person then proceeded to reconsider the Section 5(2)(b) ground in detail and concluded that he should allow the appeal in respect of the Class 9 goods and engine oil filters in Class 7.

As regards the Section 5(3) ground the opponent had submitted that in relation to its Community Mark the Hearing Officer had been wrong to decide that it must show a reputation in the European Community rather than one solely in the UK. The Appointed Person rejected this submission and maintained the Hearing Officer’s decision in respect of Section 5(3).

Full decision O/020/07 PDF document47Kb