Trade mark decision

BL Number
Decision date
24 May 2007
Hearing Officer
Mrs A Corbett
THE DENTAL PRACTICE & device of a crocodile
Dr Simon J Moore & Dr Timothy Rumney
La Chemise Lacoste (SA)
Sections 5(2)(b), 5(3), 5(4)(a) & Section 56


Section 5(2)(b): Opposition failed. Section 5(3): Opposition failed. Section 5(4)(a): Opposition failed. Section 56: Opposition failed.

Points Of Interest

  • The opponent appealed the Section 5(2)(b) ground to the Appointed Person. In her decision dated 12 December 2004 (BL O/361/07) the Appointed Person upheld the Hearing Officer's decision and dismissed the appeal.


The opponent owns a number of marks consisting of a device of a crocodile and it filed evidence of use of its marks. The evidence indicated extensive use but it was poorly focussed in that marks were not identified or linked to particular goods or turnover. The Hearing Officer was unable to assume that any particular mark had an enhanced reputation because of the use made of it.

Under Section 5(2)(b) the Hearing Officer decided that the opponent’s best case rested on its registration of a device of a crocodile covering services in Class 44 which included medical services. She concluded that such services included dentistry services, the applicants services, and therefore identical services were at issue. As regards the respective marks the Hearing Officer noted differences in the device elements but the main difference was the presence of the words THE DENTAL PRACTICE in the applicant's mark. Overall she concluded that the respective marks were not confusingly similar and that opposition failed under Section 5(2)(b).

Opposition also failed on the remaining grounds because the respective marks were not similar, the evidence of use was of only limited assistance and the activities of the two parties appeared to be very different.

Full decision O/138/07 PDF document466Kb