Trade mark decision

BL Number
Decision date
17 December 2007
Hearing Officer
Mr M Reynolds
16, 29, 30, 32, 41, 42
Applicant for Revocation & Invalidation
A Different Limited
Registered Proprietor
Miles-Bramwell Executive Services Ltd
Revocation Invalidation
Sections 46(1)(c) & (d) Section 47(1) based on Section 3(1)(b)(c) & (d)


Revocation - Section 46(1)(a) & (d): Revocation action failed. Invalidity - Section 47(1) based on Section 3(1)(b), (c) & (d): Invalidity action failed.

Points Of Interest

  • See also associated opposition proceedings under BL O/366/07.


The applicant in these proceedings filed evidence from the internet to show that the word SIN is widely used in relation to a range of goods and services and it also submitted that the use claimed by the registered proprietor was not trade mark use of its mark.

The registered proprietor trades as Slimming World and is one of the UK’s leading weight control and dietary organisations. It trades through a network of some 2,500 trained consultants who hold around 5,500 weekly slimming and weight control meetings for members.

The registered proprietor filed evidence of use of its mark SIN to show that it enables customers to identify the relative “healthiness” of foods. The less healthy a foodstuff the higher the SIN value attributed to that foodstuff and vice versa. The proprietor explained that the mark has been used for some 30 years in association with its diet and weight control programmes as promoted and advertised in its magazine Slimming World which is published every two months and has a circulation of over 200,000 copies. Advertising and promotional spend has increased over the years to £1m and its agents/consultants are said to spend a further sum of some £2m per annum; a questionnaire completed by a number of the proprietor’s consultants showed, not surprisingly, that they associated the term SIN with the proprietor.

With regard to the revocation proceedings the applicant accepted that the provisions of Section 46(1)(c) could not apply since SIN is not a common name for any of the proprietor’s goods and services. As regards Section 46(1)(d) the registration enjoys a presumption of validity and there was nothing in the applicant’s claim or evidence to challenge that validity. The revocation action thus failed.

As regards the ground of invalidity the Hearing Officer dealt with it in some detail under each of the sub-actions 3(1)(b), (c) & (d). However, he reached the conclusion that the mark SIN is not devoid of distinctive character in relation to the proprietor’s goods and services; that SIN does not describe a characteristic of the proprietor’s goods and services and that SIN is not a word which had become known and used in relation to the goods and services of the proprietor when application was made to register it as a trade mark in June 2000. The application for invalidation thus failed.

Full decision O/367/07 PDF document1.89Mb