Trade mark decision

BL Number
Decision date
12 November 2003
Hearing Officer
Mr D Landau
Ranbaxy Laboratories Limited
Astrazeneca AB
Section 5(2)(b)


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

Points Of Interest

  • 1. The 'TREAT' test applies to unused marks as to used marks as it is "part of the global appreciation of what would happen in the context of normal and fair use".
  • 2. Comparison of the marks OMEPRAL v OMERAN & OMEPAL v OMERAN.


The opposition was based on the marks OMEPRAL and OMEPAL, registered in Class 5, and was directed at 'pharmaceutical and medicinal preparations for human use'; the 'veterinary use' products in the applicants' specification were not opposed.

The Hearing Officer found, first, that the goods in the applicants' specification (as applied for) were identical with the opponents’ goods. He went on to compare the marks and to make an assessment of the likelihood of confusion. In the result he found each of the opponents’ marks were similar to the mark applied for, and that OMEPRAL was closer than OMEPAL. The goods could be 'over the counter' medicines. The customer could therefore be faced with identical goods, similar marks which had no conceptual association to aid the memory, and earlier trade marks which were distinctive. There was a likelihood of confusion, he found. The opposition succeeded accordingly and the applicants were required to amend their specification in the manner sought by the opponents.

Full decision O/347/03 PDF document39Kb