Trade mark decision

BL Number
Decision date
13 May 2003
Hearing Officer
Mr M Reynolds
University of the Universe
de Brus Marketing Limited
Sections 3(6); 5(4)(a) & 32


Section 3(6) ;5(4)(a) & 32 - Opposition successful

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

Points Of Interest

  • 1. Applicants : Legal personality : intention to use.
  • 2. ‘UNIVERSITY’ : legal status of applicant.


The opponents alleged that the applicants did not constitute a ‘legal person’ within the meaning of Section 32 and, as a separate matter, did not have an intention to use the mark, either because they had no legal status or because their specification was too wide.

The Hearing Officer dealt with these aspects first since no Section 5 issue would arise if the application was void, ab initio.

After reviewing the facts, and the law concerning the use of the word ‘University’ (which did not appear in the trade mark) the Hearing Officer concluded that the opponents had established a prima facie case in the matter of the legal status of the applicant. The Hearing Officer was not satisfied, from the evidence that the ‘University of the Universe’ could, at the date of application properly have claimed to be the applicant for registration. In consequence the application was, for practical purposes, a nullity. The opposition under Sections 3(6)/32 succeeded accordingly.

The Hearing Officer, after detailed consideration of the Section 5(4)(a) objection, concluded that the opponents were ‘at the margins’ of substantiating their claim to goodwill, but in any case could not show misrepresentation leading to damage.

Full decision O/133/03 PDF document239Kb