Trade mark decision

BL Number
Decision date
6 September 2007
Hearing Officer
Mr M Reynolds
Global Baby Marketing Limited
National Childbirth Trust & NCT Trading Limited
Sections 3(6), 5(4)(a) & 5(4)(b)


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

Points Of Interest

  • None


The opponents in these proceedings had entered into an agreement with the applicant as regards the distribution of a magazine entitled “Bumps and Babies” with joint ownership of the title between NCT Publishing (one of the opponents) and the applicant. NCT Publishing was responsible for editorial content and it also claimed copyright in respect of the magazine. The opponents also organised various events for pregnant women and new mothers under the name “Bumps and Babies”.

It would appear that co-operation did not proceed as planned and a new draft agreement was drawn up and NCT and put to the applicant but there was little response even though NCT apparently made efforts to discuss the new proposals with the applicant. The old agreement was not formally cancelled while discussion on the new agreement continued in 2004 and 2005.

On 15th December 2004 the current applicant filed an application to register the mark, BUMPS & BABIES claiming sole proprietorship. Following publication the current opponents lodged opposition and the application was not pursued by Global. The application was deemed withdrawn on 27th October 2005. In the meantime Global filed the current application on 22 September 2005, again without any consultation with the current opponents.

Under Section 3(6), bad faith, the Hearing Officer reviewed the evidence before him and concluded that as the applicant had applied for registration in it’s own name, when it was clear in the agreement between the parties that the mark was jointly owned, the filing of the application was an act of bad faith. Opposition succeeded on this ground. In passing the Hearing Officer also referred to the filing of the earlier application and concluded that that filing was also an act of bad faith.

As regards the ground under Section 5(4)(a), passing off, the Hearing Officer was not satisfied that there was sufficient evidence to form a view as to what reputation and goodwill accrued to the opponents in relation to the mark in suit. Opposition failed on this ground.

Opposition also failed under Section 5(4)(b) since it is generally the case that there can be no copyright in a name or title, especially if it of a simple word mark.

Full decision O/258/07 PDF document38Kb