Trade mark decision

BL Number
Decision date
21 August 2000
Hearing Officer
Dr W J Trott
Pirelli Cavi e Sistemi SpA
The Whitaker Corporation
Sections 5(2)(b) and 5(4)


Section 5(2)(b) - Opposition failed

Section 5(4) - Opposition failed

Points Of Interest

  • 1. A "family of marks" is not a factor which has much relevance in deciding a dispute under Section 5(2) though it may be relevant under Section 5(4). ENER-CAP trade mark [1999] RPC 362.
  • 2. When comparing marks, even where one has a reputation, there must be a real likelihood of confusion rather than a mere possibility, for the marks at issue to be considered "confusingly similar".


The opponents opposition was based essentially on their ownership of and reputation in, their AMP mark. They also claimed use of a family of AMP/AMPLI marks but while they have a number of such marks registered in Class 9, no conclusive evidence was filed to show that such marks were in use in the marketplace. Despite the fact that the Hearing Officer accepted that the opponents had a reputation in their AMP mark and that identical goods were at issue, the Hearing Officer concluded that the respective marks AMP and AMPLIFIBER were conceptually, phonetically and visually different and therefore not confusingly similar. A comparison under Section 5(2) was also made with AMPLIVAR, another of the opponents registered marks, but again the Hearing Officer concluded that the respective marks were not confusingly similar.

In the light of his findings under Section 5(2) the Hearing Officer dealt only briefly with Section 5(4). Again he decided that the opponents failed in their opposition.

Full decision O/300/00 PDF document32Kb