Trade mark decision

BL Number
Decision date
28 August 2001
Hearing Officer
Mr M Reynolds
06, 40
Organically Coated Steels Limited
OCS Group Limited
Sections 5(2), 5(3) & 5(4)


Section 5(2): - Opposition failed.

Section 5(3): - Opposition failed.

Section 5(4)(a): - Opposition failed.

Points Of Interest

  • Where subsidiary companies trade under their own names and the link with the parent company is not readily apparent, then the parent company will face some difficulty in proving that the use by the subsidiary companies accrue to the benefit of the parent company and its mark or marks.


The opponents opposition was based on their ownership of the mark OCS in relation to a range of activities surrounding their core activity of office cleaning services. Subsidiary companies traded under their own names, but showed in their literature that they were linked with OCS, offered building maintenance and refurbishment services and a range of services including maintenance of metal work. The applicants claimed use of their mark OCS from 1990 in relation to the provision of coated steel products, the treatment of materials and the cutting of coated steels.

Under Section 5(2) the Hearing Officer noted that the marks were identical but based on the opponents registered rights he decided that the respective goods and services were some way apart and thus confusion was unlikely.

Under Sections 5(3) and 5(4)(a) the Hearing Officer accepted that the opponents had rather wider rights based on their use but in most instances the use was by subsidiary companies, who traded under their own names, and the link with the opponents OCS mark was not readily apparent. Opposition based on these grounds failed.

Full decision O/378/01 PDF document47Kb