Trade mark decision

BL Number
O/326/01
Decision date
31 July 2001
Hearing Officer
Mr G Salthouse
Mark
FORM ONLY MARK
Classes
12, 37
Applicant
Ford Motor Company Limited
Opponent
Halfords Limited
Opposition
Sections 1(1), 3(1)(a), (b) & (d)

Result

Section 1(1) - Opposition failed

Section 3(1)(a)-(d) - Opposition failed

Section 3(1)(b) - Opposition succeeded

Points Of Interest

  • Survey Evidence. If survey evidence is to have any weight it must be conducted fairly and impartially (Imperial Group plc v Philip Morris Ltd (1984) RPC 293)

Summary

The applicants had filed evidence of use at examination stage to persuade the Registrar to accept the mark and advertise it for opposition purposes. They did not file this evidence in the opposition proceedings (but the opponents did). Instead they filed survey evidence in support of the application.

The opponents criticised both sets of evidence. They noted that the applicants had filed three representations initially and had them deleted two of them. The evidence filed at examination stage had been in support of a representation of one of the deleted marks; also that the survey evidence was flawed.

The Hearing Officer expressed the view that the mark applied was a sign capable of being a distinguishing "trade mark" but went on to find that it was not a distinctive trade mark within the terms of Section 3(1)(b) and that the evidence filed in support of the application was totally inadequate in showing that the mark was capable of distinguishing.

Full decision O/326/01 PDF document38Kb