Trade mark decision

BL Number
O/208/02
Decision date
8 May 2002
Appointed Person
Professor Ruth Annand
Mark
OROPRAM
Classes
05
Applicants/Respondents
Omega Farma ehf
Opponents/Appellants
H Lundbeck A/S
Appeal to the Appointed Person in Opposition Proceedings

Result

Appeal successful.

Points Of Interest

  • 1. Comparison of the marks OROPRAM v SEROPRAM
  • 1. Threshold for confusion in respect of pharmaceuticals:- different standards neither exist nor are necessary

Summary

This was an appeal to the Appointed Person against the decision of the Registrar’s Hearing Officer (see BL O/501/01); in particular, the appellants disputed the Hearing Officer’s findings in respect of the likelihood of confusion between the marks at issue, OROPRAM v SEROPRAM. The Hearing Officer had failed to note that both marks had three syllables (not two, as stated in his decision) and he had made no finding as to the distinctive character of the opponents’ mark SEROPRAM. The Appointed Person noted that both marks have the strings RO-PRAM in common, rather than just the suffixes -PRAM. She also found that the mark SEROPRAM had a “high distinctive character” for the goods concerned. In the result the Appointed Person, taking into account the suggestion of oral delivery in the mark OROPRAM, the similarity of the marks, the identicality of the goods and the high distinctiveness of the mark SEROPRAM, found that the opposition case had been made out and the appeal succeeded accordingly.

Regarding the debate over differing theresholds in conflicts between pharmaceutical marks, however, the Appointed Person said she did not believe different standards existed or were necessary. "The test of likelihood of confusion is flexible enough to allow each case to be judged according to its own peculiar facts."

Full decision O/208/02 PDF document27Kb