Trade mark decision

BL Number
Decision date
15 July 2003
Hearing Officer
Mr G Salthouse
16, 36
Application for Invalidity
W H Smith Retail Ltd
Registered Proprietor
Red Letter Days Plc
Section 47(1) based on Sections 1(1) & 3(1)(a), (b), (c) & (d)


Section 47(1) based on Section 3(1)(b) & (c): - Invalidity application successful.

Points Of Interest

  • None


The applicants for invalidity claimed that they and a number of others (including the registered proprietors) commonly use the word EXPERIENCE in relation to vouchers and certificates which are sold as gifts and which entitle recipients to a special experience such as “The Flying Experience”, “The Helicopter Experience”, The Biggles Experience” etc. They claimed that the word EXPERIENCE is generic in relation to such activities and filed evidence to show how they and others also use the word.

The registered proprietors disputed the applicants claims and said that the mark in suit is registered in respect of vouchers and the service of issuing such vouchers and not in respect of the gift activity. Their own evidence also showed use of the word EXPERIENCE both as a descriptor and as a trade mark.

The Hearing Officer considered the nature of the word EXPERIENCE in relation to the goods and services listed and had little difficulty in deciding that the mark in suit had no distinctive character in the context of Section 3(1)(b) and that it was descriptive in the context of Section 3(1)(c). The application for invalidity thus succeeded.

Full decision O/202/03 PDF document36Kb