Trade mark decision

BL Number
Decision date
8 April 2002
Hearing Officer
Mr D Landau
06, 09, 14, 16, 18, 21, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 39, 41, 42
Tottenham Hotspur Plc
Patricia Hard O'Connell & Michael O'Connell
Sections 3(1)(b) & (c)


Section 5(2)(b) - Opposition failed

Section 5(2)(c) - Opposition failed

Points Of Interest

  • 1. The evidence filed by the opponents appeared to relate to relative grounds. It was surprising, therefore, that the opposition was pursued only under Sections 3(1)(b) and (c).
  • 2. The Opponents appealed to the Appointed Person. In her decision dated 6 January 2003 (BL O/024/03) the Appointed Person upheld the Hearing Officer's decision.
  • 3. See also BL O/135/01 and BL O/527/01


The opponents filed evidence to show that they had traded for a number of years and sold goods such as football memorabilia bearing the word TOTTEHNAM. All such goods related to Tottenham Hotspur Football Club and evidence from other traders was to the same effect.

Insofar as the grounds of opposition were concerned the Hearing Officer decided that the word TOTTENHAM was not devoid of distinctive character since in his view it could indicate the origin of goods if used as a trade mark.

Tottenham is of course a geographical name since it makes up one third of Haringey, a London Borough. However, such evidence as was before him, indicated to the Hearing Officer that use of Tottenham indicates the football club and there was no evidence that Tottenham had a reputation for any goods or services not associated with the football club. As regards the future the Hearing Officer considered the nature of the locality and concluded that it was unlikely that others would wish to use the name to indicate geographical origin since owing to the nature of the area it was unlikely to change its industrial or commercial areas other than on a limited basis. Therefore, TOTTENHAM did not need to be kept free because of possible use in the future. Opposition thus failed.

Full decision O/150/02 PDF document33Kb