Trade mark decision

BL Number
Decision date
20 June 2003
Hearing Officer
Mr M Reynolds
09, 16, 36, 41
Easybroker International Limited
Easygroup IP Licensing Ltd
Sections 5(2)(b), 5(3) & 5(4)(a)


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

Section 5(3): - Opposition failed.

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

Points Of Interest

  • The applicants asked for an increased award of costs because of the number of marks pleaded by the opponents. The Hearing Officer agreed to a slight increase in the sum awarded.


The opponents quoted a great many registrations and pending applications but in the event the Hearing Officer considered that their best case rested on six marks under Section 5(2)(b); EASYMONEY, easyValue, EASY, EASYJET, EASYEVERYTHING and

The opponents also filed details of use of their marks but the only mark used extensively prior to the relevant date was EASYJET in relation to airline services. The opponents also claimed use of their mark EASYMONEY but this was by way of promotion in press articles prior to launch which occurred after the relevant date. In the case of the other marks listed use was extremely modest or non-existent. Under Section 5(2)(b) the Hearing Officer compared the opponents’ marks with the mark in suit and in every case concluded that there was no likelihood of confusion as regards trade origin – even where identical goods and services were at issue. One of the main reasons for reaching his decision was the fact that EASY is a well known dictionary word which appears to be used by a number of third parties in trade. Thus it is a relatively weak element in itself and in composite marks.

A claim was also made to a “family” of EASY marks by the opponents but the Hearing Officer considered that at best the opponents had proved a very limited case and the Hearing Officer did not consider it sufficient to affect his findings under Section 5(2)(b). Opposition thus failed on this ground.

Under Section 5(3) the Hearing Officer considered that the opponents had only proved a relevant reputation in the case of the EASYJET mark. As he did not consider it to be similar to the mark in suit opposition also failed on this ground.

Under Section 5(4)(a) – Passing Off – the Hearing Officer considered the marks EASYJET, EASYRENTACAR and EASYEVERYTHING which had been used by the opponents in various styles. Essentially the Hearing Officer considered that the opponents position under Section 5(4)(a) was no better as compared to Section 5(2)(b) and he found that they had failed to establish misrepresentation and potential damage if the applicants mark was registered. Opposition thus failed on this ground.

Full decision O/170/03 PDF document134Kb