Trade mark decision

BL Number
Decision date
22 August 2003
Hearing Officer
Mr M Foley
Minton Spring Water Company Limited
Royal Doulton (UK) Limited
Sections 3(3)(b), 5(3), 5(4)(a) & 6(1)(c)


Section 3(3)(b) - Ground dismissed.

Section 5(3) - Opposition failed.

Section 5(4)(a) - Opposition failed.

Section 6(1)(c) - Ground dismissed.

Points Of Interest

  • 1. None


The opponents opposition was based on their ownership of registrations of the marks MINTON, MINTONS and variations of these marks with devices in respect of china, porcelain and earthenware etc. They also claimed a significant reputation through long and extensive usage of the marks in respect of the above mentioned goods.

Under Section 5(4)(a) the Hearing Officer carefully considered the extensive evidence filed by the opponents but concluded that while MINTON had extensive goodwill in relation to china, pottery etc it was a specialized goodwill and there was little evidence to support a claim that it extended widely beyond its normal boundary. In effect he decided that it was not a famous mark which warranted a high degree of protection. He also decided that there was little connection between the respective goods and went on to conclude that the opposition under Section 5(4)(a) failed.

In view of his findings and decision under Section 5(4)(a) the Hearing Officer dealt only briefly with the ground under Section 5(3) where the opponents also failed.

The Section 3(3)(b) ground was dismissed as the claim related to similarity of the respective marks whereas this is an absolute ground.

Full decision O/260/03 PDF document75Kb