Trade mark decision

BL Number
Decision date
11 June 2007
Hearing Officer
Dr W J Trott
41, 45
Ross Heaven
Simon Buxton t/a The Sacred Trust
Section 5(4)(a)


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

Points Of Interest

  • A declaration filed by one witness in support of the applicant was later disowned by that witness who claimed not to have made the original declaration. (Paragraphs 8-9 of the decision).


The opponent in these proceedings previously worked with the applicant in running workshops in 2002 and 2003 under the name DARKNESS VISIBLE which were organised, promoted and administered by The Sacred Trust. Monies for the workshops were paid to The Sacred Trust. Later the two men co-edited a book under the title DARKNESS VISIBLE and there was also co-operation as regards a book edited by Mr Buxton with the title “The Shamanic Way of the Bee’.

The two parties split up and Mr Ross Heaven filed the application in suit.

Both parties filed evidence, including evidence from supporters, with a view to claiming ownership of the mark in suit. This evidence was examined in great detail by the Hearing Officer who came to the conclusion that the DARKNESS VISIBLE teachings were of a cooperative nature and that the goodwill was shared by both parties and possibly also The Sacred Trust.

In view of his finding as to the ownership of the goodwill, the Hearing Officer concluded that the applicant, at the date of application 23 June 2005, did not fall foul of the law of passing off as he shared the goodwill the parties had generated up to that date. Opposition thus failed.

Full decision O/164/07 PDF document191Kb