Trade mark decision

BL Number
Decision date
17 July 2002
Hearing Officer
Mr D Landau
Seahopper Folding Kontender Ltd
Seahopper Folding Boats*
Section 5(4)(a)


Section 5(4)(a): - Opposition successful.

Points Of Interest

  • 1. Opposition filed by neither a legal nor a natural person.
  • 2. Trade mark registrations do not act as an automatic defence in a passing off action.


*In a preliminary decision the Hearing Officer stated that it was clear that the named opponent was not a legal person but the trading style of an individual, Steven Nicholas Rea. Thus the opposition had not been filed either by a legal or by a natural person. Whilst it was therefore open to him to dismiss the opposition on those grounds, he decided to treat the matter as though it had been lodged by Mr Rea.

He also expressed his regret that no hearing had been requested, by either party, as much of the evidence was conflicting and a hearing, with cross-examination, would have been helpful.

The Hearing Officer went on to consider the matter under Section 5(4)(a). This involved a difficult analysis of the evidence relating to the ownership of the goodwill in the name (since with identical goods and identical marks damage would be automatic), this matter was eventually decided in favour of the opponent.

Full decision O/279/02 PDF document237Kb