Trade mark decision

BL Number
Decision date
5 May 2005
Hearing Officer
Mr M Foley
Proline International Ltd
Proline Textile S.A.S.
Section 5(4)(a)


Section 5(4)(a): - Opposition successful.

Points Of Interest

  • 1. None


The opponent owns a registration for the mark PROLINE (stylised) in Class 24 in respect of a range of fabrics. It also filed evidence of use of its mark from 1993 onwards in respect of a range of fabrics which have special protective qualities and which are used in the manufacture of sports clothing and clothing for firefighters. The Hearing Officer accepted that at the relevant dates, the date of first use by the applicant and the date the applicant applied to register its mark, the opponent had a reputation and goodwill in its mark. Furthermore, this reputation extended to the made-up goods made from PROLINE fabrics since the PROLINE mark is often used with the mark on the garments manufactured to show that the garments are made from fabric which have particular characteristics.

The applicant also filed evidence and claimed use of its mark PROLINE (stylised) since 1995. It proceeded to advertisement on the basis of "honest concurrent use" but the evidence filed in these proceedings showed no use of the mark on its own. The applicant did in fact supply garments to the British Olympic Association, and is a licensee of that organisation, but the actual garments also bore the BOA logo in addition to the PROLINE mark. Goods were supplied for other sports events such as the Football World Cup and the applicant is a main supplier to the Arcadia Group who have over 700 sales outlets in the UK. However, in these latter cases it would appear that the applicant supplies the garments (made in India) to the UK traders who then use their own trade marks on the goods. The PROLINE mark is not used on such goods and the public do not come into direct contact with it.

The Hearing Officer considered the overall situation and concluded that there was the potential for misrepresentation and damage to the reputation and goodwill of the opponent’s mark at the relevant dates, if the applicant was granted registration. Opposition thus succeeded under Section 5(4)(a).

Full decision O/128/05 PDF document117Kb