Trade mark decision

BL Number
Decision date
2 July 2003
Hearing Officer
Mr D Landau
09, 16, 36, 42
Siemens Financial Services Limited
Easygroup IP Licensing Limited


Section 3 (6): - Opposition failed.

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

Section 5(3): - Opposition failed.

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

Points Of Interest

  • 1. As regards costs the Hearing Officer noted that the opponents had submitted somewhat vague grounds of opposition and their evidence had been lengthy and poorly focussed. Additionally they had not supported their ground under Section 3(6). In this latter regard he decided that the applicants should have additional costs relating to their Section 3(6) evidence and allowed one month for a breakdown of costs to be funished.
  • 2. In his supplementary decision dated 5 August 2003 (BL O/221/03) the Hearing Officer increased the costs award to the applicants by £2,300.


The opponents opposition was based on a great many registrations of marks such as EASYJET, EASYMONEY, EASYRENTACAR, EASYEVERYTHING etc in a range of classes. They also claimed use of their marks but in the event only showed significant use of their mark EASYJET for air travel services.

The applicants referred to the fact that they had registrations of the marks ease-e:), EASE-E:), ease-e:)ease, EASE-E:EASE, and EASE-ELEASE for very similar goods and services to those of this application. They, therefore, disputed that their application was made in bad faith. They also filed evidence to show that EASY is a very commonly used term in marks and in company names and while the Hearing Officer discounted some of this evidence as comewhat vague and post-dating the relevant date of these proceedings, he accepted that the term EASY was a term with little distinctiveness.

Under Section 5(2)(b) the Hearing Officer concluded that the opponents had filed no evidence to enhance the distinctiveness of the following marks, which he considered must be compared with the marks in suit; nor did he think that they had proved rights in a family of EASYmarks.

easyPay/EASYPAY Series of 2





The Hearing Officer went on to compare these marks with the marks in suit. He considered them to be visually and phonetically different and while there was some conceptual similarity he considered that compared as wholes, they were not similar, bearing in mind the fact that all the marks had a low degree of inherent distinctiveness. Nor could the opponents rely on more remote marks such as EASYJET because such marks related to very different goods and services. The opponents thus failed on the Section 5(2)(b) ground.

In view of the lack of any evidence of use in support of what he termed similar marks in the financial services field, the Hearing Officer concluded that the opponents must fail in their opposition under Sections 5(3) and 5(4)(a).

As regards the Section 3(6) ground the opponents had merely claimed that the applicants must have been aware of their marks when they made their application. They filed no other evidence in support of their “bad faith” claim and the Hearing Officer dismissed this ground.

Full decision O/190/03 PDF document261Kb