Trade mark decision

BL Number
Decision date
11 June 2003
Hearing Officer
Mr G Salthouse
The Society of British Water Industries
Walter J Halkerston & Jean Halkerston t/a Unipar Services
Sections 5(2)(b) & 32(1)


Section 5(2)(b) - Opposition failed.

Section 32(1) - Opposition failed.

Points Of Interest

  • 1. None


The opponents opposition was based on their ownership of a prior registration of the mark PADS in Class 9 in respect of a range of goods including “communications systems”. They also claimed use of their mark but this was modest in the extreme and did not add to the registered marks distinctive character.

The applicants goods were reduced at application stage to “Inductive meter reading pads used for the remote reading of utility meters”. They submitted that the respective goods were not similar.

Under Section 5(2)(b) the Hearing Officer compared the respective goods, taking account of the evidence filed by both parties and of submissions made at the Hearing by Counsel on behalf of the applicants. Having carefully considered the matter by applying the usual tests, the Hearing Officer concluded that the respective goods were not identical or similar. The Hearing Officer then compared the opponents mark PADS with the mark applied for. In so doing he noted that in the applicants mark the word PAD was descriptive of the goods and thus identification would be by way of the star device, or more likely the letters SBW1. In any event, compared as wholes, the marks were found not to be similar. As the words PAD/PADS are not unique the Hearing Officer concluded that overall there was no likelihood of confusion.

The Hearing Officer dealt with the ground under Section 32(1) only briefly since he had decided under Section 5(2)(b) that the respective marks were not similar. In any case there was no reason why the applicants could not reduce their specification at application stage and the opponents had not filed any evidence to show why this should not be allowed.

Full decision O/156/03 PDF document35Kb