Trade mark decision

BL Number
Decision date
6 October 1998
Hearing Officer
Mr A James
09, 16, 41, 42
Frank Schaffer Publications Inc
Addison Wesley Longman Limited
Section 3(1), 3(1)(a), (b) & (c).


Sections 1(1) and 3(1)(a): - Opposition failed.

Section 3(1)(b) & (c): - Opposition successful.

Points Of Interest

  • The opponents made a late application at the hearing to add a new ground (Section 3(6)) to their opposition. The Hearing Officer refused this request for a number of reasons including in particular because the question as to whether or not the mark applied for is descriptive was a cental issue in the opposition.


The opponents opposition was based on the fact that they had independently adopted the mark HOMEWORK HELPERS which they wished to use in relation to a range of study guides. The applicants had no use prior to application.

Under Sections 1(1) and 3(1)(a) the Hearing Officer decided that the mark applied for was not so descriptive that the public could not be educated to regard the words as a trade mark denoting only the applicants goods or services.

Under Sections 3(1)(b) and (c) the Hearing Officer noted the various dictionary references; the evidence filed and submissions made and concluded that the words Homework Helpers was not a fanciful or unusual combination. It was in fact a natural and apt term to describe the intended purpose of a series of books (or other media) designed to help students with their homework. Opposition therefore succeeded.

Full decision O/192/98 PDF document24Kb