Trade mark decision

BL Number
Decision date
28 August 2002
Hearing Officer
Mr D Landau
Registered Proprietor
Centurion Europe Limited
Applicants for Declaration of Invalidity
Taktyle International Limited
Application for Invalidation
Section 47(1) (Section 3(1)(b), (c) & (d))


Application for invalidation, Section 47(1) (Section 3(1)(b), (c) and (d)) dismissed.

Points Of Interest

  • 1. Phonetic equivalents of objectionable words.
  • 2. Relevant public.


The applicants contended that the mark was phonetically identical with the word ‘tactile’ and hence descriptive of signs for the use of blind people, the items on which the proprietor was using the mark. From the evidence filed the Hearing Officer was in no doubt that ‘tactile’ was meaningful in respect of signs for the visually impaired. However, in the light of the Trade Marks Registry’s practice in relation to the phonetic equivalents, under the Trade Marks Act 1994, the Hearing Officer did not consider that the mark in suit fell into any of the categories of objectionable words identified in the Practice Note. Also, whilst the mark would be indistinguishable from the word ‘tactile’ by the users of the signs, ie the visually impaired, that did not necessarily apply to the buyers of the signs.

In the result, the Hearing Officer found that the mark could, a priori, enable the ‘targeted public’ to distinguish the marked goods or services from those of other undertakings when they came to make a purchasing choice. The application of invalidation was dismissed.

Full decision O/357/02 PDF document23Kb