Trade mark decision

BL Number
Decision date
31 July 2007
Hearing Officer
Mr M Foley
31, 35
Patrick Melly
Fianna Fail
Sections 3(3)(b), 3(6), 5(4)(a) & Section 56


Section 3(3)(b): Opposition failed. Section 3(6): Opposition failed. Section 5(4)(a): Opposition failed. Section 56: Opposition failed.

Points Of Interest

  • 1. See also BL O/213/07. Application to register the mark FINE GAEL.
  • 2. The opponent appealed to the Appointed Person. In his decsion dated 15 February 2008 (BL O/043/08) the Appointed Person mentioned the Hearing Officer's decision in respect of all grounds other than under Section 3(6) where he found in favour of the opponent and went on to refuse the application.


The opponent is a well known political party in the Republic of Ireland and has been in existence since 1926. It claims that the name FIANNA FAIL is well known in Northern Ireland and throughout the United Kingdom. The opponent filed no evidence to show that it trades in goods or services under the mark, its principal activity being that of a political party.

Under Section 5(4)(a) the Hearing Officer noted that he had no evidence as to the notoriety of the name in the UK and as the opponent had no goodwill in a trade sense, it must fail in this ground of its opposition.

The opposition also failed under Section 3(6) - Bad faith, because the Hearing Officer concluded that registration would not affect the opponent in carrying on its political activity.

Under Section 56 the Hearing Officer was not satisfied that the mark in suit is well known in the UK and no evidence was provided to show that there has been any use or promotion of the mark in the UK. Also no use in relation to any goods or services. Opposition failed on this ground.

Under Section 3(3)(b) the Hearing Officer accepted that the mark in suit is well known in Ireland as a name of a political party but consumers in the UK would be unlikely to have any expectation in relation to goods or services since the mark in suit has never been so used. Opposition also failed on this ground.

Full decision O/212/07 PDF document93Kb