Trade mark decision

BL Number
Decision date
20 July 1999
Hearing Officer
Dr W J Trott
Rover Group Ltd
Ford Motor Co
Section 3(6) & 5(4)(a)


Section 3(6) - Opposition failed

Section 5(4)(a) - Opposition failed

Points Of Interest

  • None


Opposition based on opponent’s claimed prior use of the mark DSE in relation to the same goods as those covered by the mark in suit, notably motor land vehicles and parts and fittings therefore. In applying the usual passing off tests under Section 5(4)(a), the Hearing Officer concluded that the opponent had not in fact used DSE as trade mark at all, rather it was used more as an acronym (for Dynamic Safety Engineering). He was therefore not persuaded on the evidence that at the relevant date consumers would have relied on DSE as an indicator of a trade source. Alternatively, if wrong in that respect, he was unable to accept that potential customers would confuse a methodology intended to design safety into motor vehicles with a trim level specification for the applicant’s goods and there was thus little likelihood of misrepresentation leading to damage. Opposition on these grounds therefore failed.

Opposition under Section 3(6) also failed in the absence of any evidence of a lack of intention on the part of the applicant to use the mark in suit.

Full decision O/238/99 PDF document35Kb