Trade mark decision

BL Number
O/330/08
Decision date
24 November 2008
Appointed Person
Mr Geoffrey Hobbs QC
Mark
ai ACTIVINTEL Series of 5
Classes
09, 42
Applicant
Gary Milton Munroe
Opponent
Intel Corporation
Opposition
Application by the applicant to amend grounds of appeal.

Result

Request to amend grounds of appeal: Request refused.

Points Of Interest

  • 1. Question as to whether Appointed Persons could represent a party on appeal before another Appointed Person (Appendix A). Not decided.
  • 2. Senior Appointed Person decided that Appointed Persons could represent parties before the Registrar’s Hearing Officers.
  • 3. See Hearing Officer’s decision dated 20 May 2008 (BL O/150/08).
  • 4. See Appointed Person’s refusal to allow the filing of new evidence. Decision dated 24 November 2008 (BL O/331/08)

Summary

In his decision dated 29 May 2008 (BL O/150/08) the Hearing Officer found in favour of the opponent. The applicant appealed to the Appointed Person who noted that Counsel acting for the opponent was an Appointed Person.

In the interests of fairness, and being seen to be fair and without bias, the Senior Appointed Person prepared a “Direction for the Determination of a Preliminary issue” (Appendix A to this decision) relating to the question as to whether an Appointed Person should be allowed to represent a party before another Appointed Person. He requested submissions from the parties and the Registrar.

The Registrar indicated that he had no objection to Appointed Persons appearing before each other or before the Registrar’s Hearing Officers on the basis that Deputy High Court Judges continue to represent clients in the High Court. The opponent also thought there should be no objection to a party being represented by an Appointed Person on appeal before another Appointed Person. The applicant, however, objected strongly, claiming that such a circumstance could lead to “sufficient bias” and would also constitute a breach of his rights under Article 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights. The Senior Appointed Person set down a number of matters for consideration and stated that a Hearing would be appointed for the determination of this issue.

Subsequently the opponent in these proceedings appointed new Counsel so there was no need to consider the above matter in relation to these proceedings. However, the applicant extended his objections to include the fact that the opponent had been represented before the Registrar’s Hearing Officer by an Appointed Person and there was therefore the possibility that the opposition had not been fairly decided. He, therefore, requested leave to amend the grounds to include a claim that the appearance of the Appointed Person before the Hearing Officer was an infringement of his rights and constituted material errors in law.

The Senior Appointed Person heard the parties and after full consideration of the situation concluded that there was no reason why Appointed Persons should not represent parties before the Registrar’s Hearing Officers since they were not in any real sense colleagues or members of the same circle in relation to the administration of justice under the Trade Marks Act 1994. The Senior Appointed Person went on to refuse the request to amend the grounds of appeal.

Full decision O/330/08 PDF document102Kb