Trade mark decision

BL Number
Decision date
4 July 2008
Hearing Officer
Mr O Morris
Applicant for Invalidity
Red Bull GmbH
Registered Proprietor
Sea Air & Land Forwarding Ltd
Section 47(2)(a) based on Section 5(2)(b)


Section 47(2)(a) based on Section 5(2)(b): Invalidity action successful.

Points Of Interest

  • See also BL O/058/08 (Revocation proceedings)


The applicant for invalidity relied upon two earlier registrations, one for the mark BULLIT registered in Class 32 in respect of energy drinks and one for the mark THE SILVER BULLET (series of 3) registered in respect of articles of clothing in Class 25 and a range of beers and non-alcoholic drinks in Class 32 (reduced to beers when proof of use considered).

The registered proprietor claimed that the applicant was not the owner of the BULLIT mark when its mark was registered and also that the applicant had argued in earlier discussions that BULLET and BULLIT were not confusingly similar. As regards the first of these claims the Hearing Officer concluded that the issue of ownership and assignment was not relevant and, as regards the second claim he considered the matters of estoppels and bad faith but decided that as no benefit had accrued to the applicant, the applicant was not estoppels from relying on the BULLIT registration in these proceedings.

In relation to the BULLIT mark the applicant was required to show use. The applicant relied upon evidence filed in revocation proceedings which had been launched by the registered proprietor in these proceedings. While the relevant five year period in this instance was slightly different from that in the revocation proceedings, the Hearing Officer decided that use in respect of the current specification of “energy drinks” had been proved.

Under Section 5(2)(b) the Hearing Officer found that the respective goods were similar to a high degree and went on to find that the marks BULLET and BULLIT were also very similar. Overall the Hearing Officer concluded that there was a likelihood of confusion and that invalidity succeeded in respect of this earlier mark.

The Hearing Officer also compared the marks THE SILVER BULLET and BULLET but decided that they were not similar nor were the respective goods. He went on to find that invalidity failed in relation to this earlier registration.

Full decision O/192/08 PDF document691Kb