Trade mark decision

BL Number
Decision date
21 August 2002
Hearing Officer
Mr M Knight
05, 30, 32
Unilever Plc
Wistbray Limited
Sections 3(1)(a), (b), (c) & (d) & 3(3)(b)


Section 3(1)(a), (b), (c) & (d) - Opposition failed

Section 3(3)(b) - Opposition failed

Points Of Interest

  • None


The opponents opposition was based on their view that as "chai", "char" and "cha" are well known terms to describe tea, the mark in suit will be seen as another variant. In particular the opponents filed evidence to establish that "chai" means tea in many languages eg Indian, Mandarin, Chinese etc and has entered the English language. They say that the mark in suit is too close to "chai" both visually and phonetically and could easily be confused by the public and people in the tea industry.

The Hearing Officer took account of written submissions by the applicants and decided that as the mark in suit was different from the generic term "chai" it must be considered an invented word. Additionally, he did not consider that it was phonetically identical to the generic word "chai". As no evidence had been filed to show that the mark in suit had descriptive characteristics or was used descriptively the Hearing Officer decided that it was not barred from registration by Section 3(1)(a), (b) and (c) or (d). Opposition on this ground therefore failed.

In view of the finding under Section 3(1) the ground under Section 3(3)(b) also failed.

Full decision O/348/02 PDF document21Kb