Trade mark decision

BL Number
Decision date
27 August 2003
Hearing Officer
Mr D Landau
Applicant for Invalidity
EasyGroup IP Licensing Limited
Registered Proprietor
Bristol & West Plc
Section 47 based on Sections 3(1)(b) & (c), 5(2)(b) & 5(4)(a)


Section 3(1)(b) & (c) - Invalidity action failed.

Section 5(2)(b) - Invalidity action partially successful.

Section 5(4)(a) - Invalidity action failed.

Points Of Interest

  • 1. See also BL O/268/03 (EASYFLEX) where the same two parties were involved in opposition proceedings.


The applicants owned a number of prior applications and registrations such as EASYLIFE in Classes 16, 35 and 39; EASY in Class 36; EASY dot com in Classes 16 and 36; EASYEVERYTHING in Class 36 and EASYEXTRAS in Classes 16 and 36.

Both parties filed evidence of use of their marks. In the case of the applicants there was little by way of reputation since all of their marks had only recently been put into use. In the case of the registered proprietors' mark there had been some use as a stand alone mark but most of the use was with the well known house mark BRISTOL & WEST.

Insofar as the Section 3(1) application was concerned, it was only claimed that the mark in suit was descriptive and non-distinctive in relation to "life insurance services". The Hearing Officer considered the ground in some detail and decided that it was more distinctive than BABY DRY which had been accepted by the ECJ. Also the evidence showed that it had been used and recognised as a trade mark and the Hearing Officer concluded that it could act as an indicator of origin. The applicants thus failed on this ground.

Under Section 5(2)(b) the Hearing Officer dealt first of all with the ground based on the applicants' mark EASYLIFE which was almost identical. Having carefully considered the respective goods and services the Hearing Officer decided that "banking services" covered by the mark in suit were similar to goods and services of the applicants and would therefore be deleted.

As regards the applicants' EASY mark the Hearing Officer noted the non-distinctive nature of this mark but even so he concluded that in relation to "life insurance services" there was a likelihood of confusion between the two marks. If the applicants' mark proceeded to registration, "life insurance devices" would be deleted from the mark in suit.

As regards the other marks relied on by the applicants the Hearing Officer decided that in view of the non-distinctive nature of the element EASY, the respective marks were not similar.

The applicants also failed in their ground under Section 5(4)(a) since they had no relevant reputation at the date of filing of the mark in suit. In the case of other marks such as EASYJET where they did have a reputation, the marks and services were not similar.

Full decision O/269/03 PDF document631Kb