Trade mark decision

BL Number
O/207/02
Decision date
8 May 2002
Appointed Person
Mr Geoffrey Hobbs QC
Mark
TORREMAR
Classes
33
Applicant
Vina Torreblanca SL
Opponent
Miguel Torres SA
Opposition
Sections 5(2)(b) & 5(4)(a)

Result

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

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

Points Of Interest

  • 1. This was an appeal from the Hearing Officer’s decision dated 7 July 2000 (BL O/247/00). Hearing Officer's decision upheld.

Summary

The opponents opposition was based on their ownership and use of the registered marks TORRES, MIGUEL TORRES, TORRES MILANDA and a three tower device. Use was extensive and had occurred over a number of years.

The essential ground of opposition before the Registry’s Hearing Officer was under Section 5(2)(b). In those proceedings the Hearing Officer determined that identical goods were at issue and took the view that the opponents best case rested on their ownership and use of their TORRES mark. Having compared the respective marks TORREMAR and label device and TORRES he decided that they were not confusingly similar and thus the opponents failed under Section 5(2)(b). A similar finding applied to the opponents Section 5(4)(a) ground.

The opponents appealed to the Appointed Person claiming that the Hearing Officer had wrongly determined the opposition by focussing on the clash between the applicants mark and the opponents’ TORRES mark. They said that a much wider view needed to be taken of their opposition as there was resemblance between the applicants mark and the opponents family of marks.

The Appointed Person reviewed the evidence filed in the proceedings and noted the details of the opponents’ registered marks. He noted that in some instances exclusive rights were disclaimed in the TORRES element of some of the registered marks. He also disputed that the opponents had a family of marks based on any recognisable feature which was in conflict with the mark applied for.

Like the Hearing Officer the Appointed Person believed that the opponents best case rested on their TORRES mark. Having compared the respective marks the Appointed Person concluded that they were not confusingly similar and that the opposition failed under both Sections 5(2)(b) and 5(4)(a).

Full decision O/207/02 PDF document116Kb