Trade mark decision

BL Number
Decision date
26 June 2002
Hearing Officer
Mr M Foley
09, 14, 18, 25
Jacques Andre Germain RUC
H Young (Operations) Limited
Sections 3(6), 5(2)(b); 5(3) & 5(4)(a)


Section 3(6) - Opposition failed

Section 5(2)(b) - Opposition successful

Section 5(3) - Opposition failed

Section 5(4)(a) - Opposition failed

Points Of Interest

  • 1. None


The opponents opposition was based on their ownership of a number of registrations for the marks ANIMAL and ANIMAL (stylised) in respect of the same and similar goods as those of the applicants. The opponents also filed details of use of their marks from 1988 onwards but the Hearing Officer did not consider that such use added anything to the opponents case under Section 5(2)(b)

With regard to the ground under Section 5(2)(b), the Hearing Officer noted that identical and similar goods were at issue and went on to compare the respective marks ANIMAL and ANIMALE and device. The Hearing Officer noted that it has long been accepted that composite word and device marks are likely to be referred to by reference to the word element of such marks and in this case he considered that the applicants marks would be referred to as ANIMALE marks. Clearly ANIMAL and ANIMALE (French for animal) are very similar and the Hearing Officer had little difficulty in deciding that the respective marks were confusingly similar. The opponents thus succeeded on this ground

The grounds under Sections 5(3) and 5(4)(a) were dealt with only briefly by the Hearing Officer; his view being that his decision under Section 5(2)(b) decided the matter and these latter grounds did not add to the opponents case.

The Section 3(6) ground had two strands. The first was a claim by the opponents that the applicants must have known about their marks and had filed their own application in bad faith. No evidence was filed to support this claim and the Hearing Officer dismissed it. The second strand related to the scope of the applicants’ specification of goods. During the proceedings the applicants had offered to restrict their specifications to avoid the area of interest of the opponents. Such a restriction was not helpful in the circumstances of this case but in any event a voluntary offer to restrict the range of goods claimed to avoid a clash with another party did not mean that the original application was filed in bad faith. Opposition failed on this ground.

Full decision O/256/02 PDF document67Kb