Trade mark decision

BL Number
Decision date
26 March 1998
Hearing Officer
Mr S J Probert
K & F International
RBG Kew Enterprises Ltd
Sections 3(5), 5(2), 5(3), 5(4)(a), 6(1)(c) & 3(6)


Section 3(5) - Opposition failed.

Section 5(2) - Opposition failed.

Section 5(3) - Opposition failed.

Section 5(4)(a) - Opposition failed.

Section 6(1)(c) - Opposition failed.

Section 3(6) - Opposition failed.

Points Of Interest

  • Royal Marks : Registry Practice set down in Trade Marks Manual Chapter 6 page 75.


The opponents opposition was based on their ownership of registrations of their mark ROYAL BOTANIC GARDENS KEW in Classes 3, 8, 16, 21, 24 and 31. They claimed use of their mark in relation to a range of products sold through their shop at Kew Gardens and also through major UK stores. They have also endorsed certain products for the treatment and care of plants. Any use by the applicant prior to the date of application was considered by the Hearing Officer to be "de minimis".

Under Section 3(5) the Hearing Officer considered the opponents claim that the presence of the word ROYAL in the applicant’s mark might indicate Royal patronage. Taking note of Registry practice as set down in its manual the Hearing Officer decided that, as a totality, the mark did not indicate a likelihood that the public would assume the applicants products - garden furniture - had Royal approval.

Under Section 5(2)(b) the Hearing Officer compared the goods of the opponents registrations with the applicant’s goods and concluded that they were not similar. The opponents thus failed on this ground of their opposition.

In relation to the grounds of opposition under Sections 5(3) and 5(4)(a) the Hearing Officer compared the respective marks ROYAL BOTANIC KEW GARDENS with Royal Botanic and device of a crown and decided that they were not confusingly similar. In reaching this decision he paid due regard to survey evidence which indicated that some people might assume a connection between the respective marks.

The grounds under Sections 6(1)(c) and 3(6) were also dismissed because of lack of relevant evidence.

Full decision O/071/98 PDF document64Kb