Trade mark decision

BL Number
Decision date
8 December 2003
Hearing Officer
Mr M Reynolds
25, 28
Stash Limited
Samurai Sportswear Ltd
Sections 3(1)(b), (c) & (d) & 3(6)


Section 3(1)(b) (c) & (d): - Opposition essentially successful.

Section 3(6): - Ground not clearly framed and not considered.

Points Of Interest

  • 1. The applicants appealed this decision to the Appointed Person. In her decision dated 3 September 2004 the Appointed Person allowed the appeal and dismissed the opposition.


The opponents' opposition was based on a claim that in rugby playing circles the word STASH is widely used as a descriptive term and means rugby kit. The opponents filed evidence in support of their claims including survey evidence and extracts from the internet.

The Hearing Officer expressed some doubts about the conduct of the survey and also noted that much of the internet material was obtained after the relevant date. He also noted the applicants' claims that the word STASH was only used descriptively by a small number of people associated with three particular rugby clubs. He also noted that there had been a trading association between the two parties which had been terminated shortly before the application in suit was filed.

Under Section 3(1)(d) the Hearing Officer accepted that the evidence before him had some defects but even so he was convinced that there had been some use of STASH as a descriptive term in relation to rugby kit for a number of years. Therefore opposition to the mark in suit was successful. Opposition also succeeded under Section 3(1)(b) and (c).

During the course of the proceedings the applicants also recognized the descriptive nature of the word STASH and suggested some restriction of their specifications in Classes 25 and 28. The Hearing Officer decided that the proposals did not go far enough and held that Class 25 should be refused in its entirety. A restricted specification for Class 28 was however, allowed and if the application was amended accordingly it could proceed for a limited range of goods.

Full decision O/386/03 PDF document37Kb