Trade mark decision

BL Number
Decision date
6 July 2005
Hearing Officer
Mr M Foley
Ambrose (GB) Limited
The OR Organisation Limited
Section 5(2)(b)


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

Points Of Interest

  • 1. None.


The opponent's opposition was based on its ownership of a prior registration in Class 33 in respect of identical goods as those of the applicant. The mark was referred to as an ÓR mark (ÓR means gold in the Irish language) but the mark in fact consists of the letter 'R' in a circular border with the descriptive wording "product of Ireland" and "Irish Schnapps", the whole giving the impression of a label mark.

The opponent filed some details of use of its mark in Ireland and the UK and its promotion at trade fairs, particularly The London Trade Fair in 2000. However, all the evidence filed was vague and ill focused and the Hearing Officer was unable to conclude that the mark had any reputation in the UK marketplace.

In comparing the respective marks under Section 5(2)(b) the Hearing Officer noted that the single letter "R" was a non-distinctive element in the opponent's mark and that the mark's distinctiveness resided in the combination of elements. However, the letter "R" was the prominent element in the opponent's mark and it was this element which must be compared with the mark of the applicant.

The applicant's mark consists of a letter "O" with a diamond device as its centre, and is separated slightly from the letter "R". The Hearing Officer concluded that most consumers would see the mark as a device R mark or more likely as the letters or word OR. The Hearing Officer compared the respective marks and considered that they were not similar and that the opposition under Section 5(2)(b) failed.

Full decision O/194/05 PDF document133Kb