Trade mark decision

BL Number
Decision date
15 February 2002
Hearing Officer
Mr M Knight
03, 05, 16, 29, 30, 32, 35
The Healthy Farm Forum Limited
Sections 3(1)(a), (b), (c) & 5(2)(b)


Section 3(1)(a), (b) & (c) - Opposition failed

Section 5(2)(b) - Opposition failed

Points Of Interest

  • None


The opponents opposition was based on a claim that the mark applied for was not distinctive since it consists predominately of the descriptive words HEALTH MATTERS. In the alternative they considered that the mark applied for was confusingly similar to their registered mark SANOFI-SYNTHELABO. Because health matters, in respect of Class 5 goods.

Under Section 3 the Hearing Officer noted that it was accepted by the applicants that the words HEALTH MATTERS are descriptive but that the mark also contained a prominent device element consisting of a coloured circle set within a geometric device, the whole being situated between the words HEALTH and MATTERS. Taken as a whole and in the light of the BABY-DRY decision by the European Court of Justice, the Hearing Officer concluded that the mark was not without distinctive character and that the opposition on this ground failed.

Under Section 5(2)(b) it was common ground that identical goods were at issue so the only matter to be decided was whether or not the respective marks were confusingly similar. As the only matter appearing in both marks was the descriptive words HEALTH MATTERS the Hearing Officer was of the view that the purchasing public would not consider such words as an indication of origin. In view of the other distinctive matter in the respective marks - the device in the applicants mark and the words SANOFI-SYNTHELABO in the opponents mark - the Hearing Officer concluded that the respective marks were very different and that there was no likelihood of confusion of the public. The Opponents thus also failed on this ground of their opposition.

Full decision O/076/02 PDF document54Kb