Trade mark decision

BL Number
Decision date
4 October 2007
Hearing Officer
Dr L Cullen
Dr Reddy’s Laboratories (UK) Limited
Napp Pharmaceutical Holdings Limited
Sections 5(2)(b) & 5(4)(a)


Section 5(2)(b): Opposition failed. Section 5(4)(a): Not considered.

Points Of Interest

  • None


The opponent owns the mark NAPP which is registered in Classes 3 and 5 in respect of identical and similar goods as those of the applicant.

The opponent filed evidence in support of its opposition and this shows that its mark NAPP is used as a housemark to indicate a supplier of pharmaceuticals rather than the name of a product. However, the Hearing Officer accepted that the opponent has a significant reputation and goodwill in relation to such goods, in particular, pain relief medication. The opponent also filed evidence from a number of medical practitioners but it transpired that all, or nearly all, of these declarants had some association with the opponent and the Hearing Officer did not except that they should be treated as expert witnesses.

As regards the mark in suit the opponent claimed that ENTRO is an abbreviated form of the word ENTERO meaning intestine. Thus this element is descriptive and should be given less weight when comparing the mark in suit with the opponent’s mark NAPP.

In its evidence the applicant denies that the respective marks are similar and provides some evidence to the effect that the letters NAP are used in other trade marks and company names. The Hearing Officer did not find this evidence very persuasive.

Under Section 5(2)(b) the Hearing Officer compared the respective marks on the basis that the respective goods would be used by the medical professionals and the general public at large. As regards the first group the Hearing Officer believed that if knowledgeable people could make the steps ENTRO = ENTERO and that ENTERO means intestine then they would distinguish a product named ENTRONAP from NAPP the name of a pharmaceutical company. As regards the general public the Hearing Officer did not believe that they would view the respective marks in this way. The Hearing Officer went on to conclude that ENTRONAP and NAPP are not similar and that the opposition failed on this ground.

In view of the decision under Section 5(2)(b) the goods under Section 5(4)(a) was not considered, it being common ground at the Hearing that the opponent could be in no better position under Section 5(4)(a) as compared to Section 5(2)(b).

Full decision O/294/07 PDF document92Kb