Trade mark decision

BL Number
Decision date
1 August 2007
Hearing Officer
Mr M Foley
CAMELLIA & device Japanese letters
Kabushiki Kaisha Miki
Chanel Limited
Sections 3(1)(b); 3(1)(c); 3(1)(d) & 5(4)(a)


Section 3(1)(b) & (c): Opposition successful. Section 3(1)(d): Opposition failed Section 5(4)(a): Opposition failed

Points Of Interest

  • Section 3(1)(b): the inclusion of the (meaningless) Japanese letters were not sufficient to establish the mark as a potential badge of origin.


Aside from the objections on absolute grounds, the opponents also claimed to have used the symbol of a camellia on a wide variety of items, including some in the applicants’ specification.

The Hearing Officer dealt firstly with the objection under 3(1)(d), which he dismissed since there was no evidence that the word was customary in the common parlance or practices of the trade; in any case the additional device of ‘Katakana’ symbols meant that the mark did not ‘consist exclusively of’ - as required by that Section.

Under Sections 3(1)(b) & (c) however, CAMELLIA had to be regarded as a word descriptive of goods that were representations of that shrub or flower; notionally, all of the goods specified. The opposition brought on those grounds succeeded therefore.

Under Section 5(4)(a) the opposition failed; the opponents had successfully shown that other traders produced goods in the shape of camellias; such use therefore could not have been exclusive to them.

Full decision O/217/07 PDF document62Kb