Trade mark decision

BL Number
Decision date
23 May 2001
Appointed Person
Mr Geoffrey Hobbs QC
09, 16, 24, 25
Mr Nicholas Dynes Gracey
The Gillette Company
Appeal against Registrar’s decision in Opposition and Revocation proceedings


Appeal successful; re-hearing ordered.

Points Of Interest

  • 1. 1. Registrar’s powers to alter time limits laid down in the Act or Rules. "Irregularities in procedure can be rectified under Rule 66 - but not so as to deprive other provisions of the Act or Rules of their intended effect".
  • 2. There having been a material breach in the earlier proceedings in question it would not be right for the Appointed Person to examine the merits of the interim applications; to do so would be compounding the breach of procedure.
  • 3. Costs against the Registrar.


The Registrar’s decisions (BL O/376/00; BL O/377/00 and BL O/378/00 were appealed to the Appointed Person on the ground that Mr Gracey had not been given fourteen days notice of the hearing as required by the Trade Marks Rules.

The Appointed Person considered the following questions:-

Was due notice given;

Was there consent to short notice;

Could short notice nevertheless be deemed sufficient;

Should (the Appointed Person) consider whether the interim applications were hopeless?

His conclusions were:-

Neither party received due notice of the hearing on 10 August 2000, because the period during which they were under notice of it was in each case less than the period required by the Rules;

Mr Gracey had not consented to the short notice;

The Principal Hearing Officer had no power to abridge the period of 14 days laid down by the Rules;

For the Appointed Person to consider the merits of the interim application would simply be to compound the breach of procedure.

The Appointed Person allowed the appeal and directed that the Principal Hearing Officer’s determinations in the opposition proceedings be set aside and the interim application be listed for hearing before a different Hearing Officer. The Principal Hearing Officer’s order for costs in favour of Gillette was also set aside.

Full decision O/375/01 PDF document129Kb