Trade mark decision

BL Number
Decision date
23 December 2008
Hearing Officer
Mr O Morris
The Boots Company PLC
Spirig Pharma AG
Sections 5(2)(b)


Section 5(2)(b): Opposition failed

Points Of Interest

  • 1. See Hearing Officer’s decision dated 14 May 2008 ( BL O/138/08)
  • 2. See Appointed Person’s decision dated 12 September 2008 ( BL O/290/08)


The Registry’s original decision was issued on 14 May 2008 (BL O/138/08). On appeal to the Appointed Person it was remitted to the Registrar for a new decision by a different Hearing Officer because certain documents filed by the opponent had not reached the official file when the original decision was made (see Appointed Person’s decision dated 12 September 2008) (BL O/290/08).

The opponent’s opposition was based on its ownership of the mark SPIRIG registered in class 3 in respect of identical and similar goods as those of the applicant.

The Hearing Officer carried out a careful comparison of the marks SPIRIT and SPIRIG and concluded that they were similar both visually and aurally to a moderate degree. However, he considered this similarity was offset to some extent because the marks are very different. Conceptually the mark SPIRIT is an English word with its own well known meaning, whereas SPIRIG would be seen as an invented word with no meaning. Overall the Hearing Officer concluded that the respective marks were not so similar that the public would be confused as to the origin of the respective goods.

Full decision O/340/08 PDF document59Kb