Trade mark decision

BL Number
Decision date
5 April 2002
Hearing Officer
Mr M Foley
09, 14, 20, 24, 27
Registered Proprietor
Ozark-London Limited
Applicants for a Declaration of Invalidity
Wal-Mart Stores Inc
Application for Invalidation
Section 47(1) (citing Sections 3(1)(b); 3(1)(c); 3(3)(b) & 3(6))*


Application for invalidation citing Sections 3(1)(b), 3(1)(c), 3(3)(b) & 3(6) dismissed.

Points Of Interest

  • 1. Geographical indications; significance to UK consumers; relevance to goods.
  • 2. Bad faith; ownership of trade marks in third countries.


The applicants contended that the word OZARK was an indication of geographical origin, an area of high lands in central Southern USA. The Hearing Officer however doubted that it would be seen by consumers in the UK as anything other than an invented word; and he noted that the applicants themselves used a trade mark OZARK TRAIL in the USA, where its geographical significance was likely to be known. This disposed of the objection under Section 3(1)(c) and, therefore, the objection under Section 3(1)(b) also.

The Hearing Officer quickly dismissed the objection under Section 3(3)(b). Even if UK consumers understood the geographical significance of OZARK (which he considered unlikely) he did not accept that they would be deceived into believing that it had some direct reference to the goods.

Under Section 3(6) the applicants claimed that the registered proprietors had been aware of their use and registration of the mark OZARK TRAIL prior to the filing of their application for registration and had thus acted in bad faith. From the evidence, however, the Hearing Officer could not find that the applicants had established a case. This ground too was dismissed.

Full decision O/149/02 PDF document44Kb