Trade mark decision

BL Number
Decision date
7 July 1999
Hearing Officer
Mr D Landau
05, 31
Pharmedica GMBH
Dalgety Holland BV
A request to substitute Friskies Nederland BV as opponent in the opposition proceedings


In the Registry - Substitution refused

In the Registry - Substitution refused

In the High Court - Substitution allowed

In the High Court - Substitution allowed

Points Of Interest


Following the filing of opposition proceedings the opponents advised the Registrar that Friskies Petcare (UK) Ltd had become beneficial owners of the mark and that the new owners wished to take over the opposition. The Registrar refused the request and the opponents requested to be heard in the matter.

The opponents submitted that as the High Court would allow such a change the Registrar should also allow the change of opponent and that, in any event, the change should be allowed as the request had been made before the Registrar’s change of practice came into effect. Following the decision handed down (BL O/086/99) by the Registrar on 18 March 1999 and subsequent Journal Notice amending practice with effect from 3 February 1999 the Hearing Officer refused the request on the basis that the Registrar had no powers to allow the substitution.

The opponents appealed to the High Court.

In the High Court Mr Justice Pumfrey held that every court, including the Registrar’s, had inherent power to regulate its own proceedings; that once opposition proceedings are set in train the time limit of three months for filing opposition ceases to be relevant to the proceedings; that the Registrar’s earlier practice of allowing substitution was a sensible one which should not be changed without good reason and the Judge cast doubt on the Bamfords decision which had been extensively quoted by the Hearing Officer. (High Court decision dated 18 January 2000 Ref HC 1999 No 03286). Reported [2000] IP&T 467.

Full decision O/187/99 PDF document59Kb