Trade mark decision

BL Number
Decision date
5 November 2003
Hearing Officer
Dr W J Trott
35, 42
Absolute Internet Limited
V&S Vin & Sprit Aktiebolag
Sections 5(2)(b); 5(3) & 5(4)(a)


Section 5(2)(b): - Opposition partially successful.

Section 5(3): - Opposition failed.

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

Points Of Interest

  • 1. Comparison of the marks ABSOLUT & device v ABSOLUTE INTERNET


The opposition was based on a number of 'ABSOLUT' marks, registered in various classes. The majority of these covered goods and services quite distinct from the services sought by the applicant. Two, however, were cited as covering identical or similar services. Since one of these was not an earlier mark, the Hearing concentrated on the alleged clash between the applications and the opponent’s mark 'ABSOLUT', a CTM application covering a number of classes including 35 and 42. There was no clash in Class 42, ruled the Hearing Officer. The respective Class 35 specifications however, involved identical services, namely ‘advertising services’.

The Hearing Officer therefore went on to compare the marks 'ABSOLUTE INTERNET' v 'ABSOLUT' and device, the distinctive and dominant features of which, he decided were ABSOLUT v ABSOLUTE. In the result he found the opponent successful in respect of Class 35, advertising services.

The evidence concerning reputation however did not support their claim under Section 5(3), neither could the Hearing Officer agree that a ‘link or connection between the respective trade marks' would exist in the minds of the consumer. The Section 5(3) ground failed.

The opponents clearly possessed a goodwill under the name ABOLUT in respect of vodka, but this was a field of activity so far removed from that covered by the applications in suit the opposition under Section 5(4)(a) failed.

The application would be allowed to proceed subject to the removal of the Class 35 specification.

The Hearing Officer made an award of costs which reflected the opponent’s limited success

Full decision O/335/03 PDF document133Kb