Trade mark decision

BL Number
Decision date
14 February 2006
Hearing Officer
Mr D Landau
Devon County Council
Customer First (UK) Limited
Section 5(2)(b)


Section 5(2)(b): - Opposition failed.

Points Of Interest

  • A preliminary decision given by the Registrar is not something which a Hearing Officer takes any account of, in reaching his decision.


The opponent in these proceedings owned a series of two certification trade marks in Classes 16, 35, 36, 41 and 42 comprising a device element with the words "putting the Customer First". The latter two words being more prominent than the first two and one mark was limited to a specific colour but this did not impact on the Hearing Officer’s decision. In these proceedings the applicant’s mark is also a Certification Trade Mark.

Both sides filed written submissions for the Hearing Officer's consideration but the opponent also filed evidence by way of extracts from the Internet to support its claim that the words "Customer First" are in the public domain and that no one party could claim a monopoly in such words.

Under Section 5(2)(b) the Hearing Officer determined that identical services were at issue but this did not assist the opponent since the Hearing Officer accepted that the words "Customer First" or "putting the Customer First" were totally descriptive and he had to take this into account in comparing the respective marks. As the device elements in the respective marks were not similar the Hearing Officer decided that the opposition must fail

Full decision O/048/06 PDF document146Kb