Trade mark decision

BL Number
O/270/01
Decision date
19 June 2001
Hearing Officer
Mr S P Rowan
Mark
HIA
Classes
16
Applicant
IPM Limited
Opponent
The National Magazine Company Limited
Opposition
Section 5(2)(b)

Result

Section 5(2)(b): - Opposition failed.

Points Of Interest

  • Filing of late evidence : The applicants wished to file evidence three days before the hearing about the fact that an ELLE mark (French for SHE) in relation to women’s magazines co-existed with the opponents mark. The Hearing Officer refused to allow in the late evidence and in any event took the view that it would not assist the applicants since there was no information about the circumstances of co-existence.

Summary

The opponents own the mark SHE and have a significant reputation in it in relation to magazines for women. The applicants claimed to have used their mark for a number of years, also in relation to magazines for women, and no confusion had occurred. The dispute rested on a comparison of the respective marks and the Hearing Officer found that there was no likelihood of visual or aural confusion. As regards conceptual confusion this might arise in only very restricted circumstances where arabic speakers would recognise HIA as meaning SHE and thus assume a connection with the opponents. As the opponents had filed no evidence about the likely number of such people in the UK the Hearing Officer decided that they had failed to discharge the onus to show that confusion would arise to any significant extent.

Full decision O/270/01 PDF document45Kb