Trade mark decision

BL Number
Decision date
22 March 2005
Hearing Officer
Mr C Bowen
18, 25
Pringle of Scotland Limited
Sections 5(2)(b), 5(3) & 5(4)(a)


Section 5(2)(b) - Opposition failed

Section 5(3) - Opposition failed

Section 5(4)(a) - Opposition failed

Points Of Interest

  • 1. This case again highlights the importance of filing detailed and focused evidence. Failure to do so means that a case is likely to fail.


The opponent in these proceedings owns registered trade marks consisting of a device of a lion rampant and such device with the words Pringle of Scotland in respect of identical and similar goods to those in the applicant’s application. The opponent also filed evidence of use of the marks dating back over 100 years but the terminology used was so broad and vague that the Hearing Officer was unable to conclude that it had a separate and distinct reputation, or an enhanced reputation, in the device of a lion rampant.

Under Section 5(2)(b) the Hearing Officer noted that identical and similar goods were at issue and went on to compare the respective marks, in particular the device of a lion rampant (the opponent’s best case) with the applicant’s mark which consists of a lion rampant and the words WILLIAMS WILSON. As the device of a lion rampant is a national emblem of Scotland the Hearing Officer considered it to be of low distinctive character and he took this into account in his comparison. He went on to find that the respective marks were not similar and that, overall, there was no likelihood of confusion of the public as regards origin of the respective goods. Opposition failed on this ground.

In view of the imprecise nature of the evidence of use filed by the opponent, the Hearing Officer concluded that the grounds under Section 5(3) and 5(4)(a) must also fail.

Full decision O/074/05 PDF document209Kb