Trade mark decision

BL Number
Decision date
27 November 2002
Hearing Officer
Mr D Landau
35, 36
Aon Corporation
Sections 5(1), 5(2)(a), 5(2)(b) & 5(4)(a)


Section 5(1) - Opposition failed

Section 5(2)(a) - Opposition failed

Section 5(2)(b) - Opposition partially successful

Section 5(4)(a) - Opposition failed

Points Of Interest

  • 1. Phonetic identicality considered; no formal finding.
  • 2. Evidence of goodwill or reputation not tailored to the relevant date.


The opposition was based on the opponents’ mark AON. The Hearing Officer dismissed the Sections 5(1) and 5(2)(a) grounds at the outset since he did not regard the marks as identical. He also doubted if phonetic identicality is identicality in terms of the Act, but made no finding on this since in his view they were not identical phonetically either.

Turning to the ground under Section 5(2)(b), he found that some of the services specified in the application were similar to those in the opponents’ registration, the remainder were not. Taking this into account and after comparing the marks the Hearing Officer concluded that a likelihood of confusion existed in the case of the similar services. The Section 5(2)(b) objection was therefore upheld in respect of those services. After due consideration the opposition under Section 5(4)(a) was dismissed.

In view of a lack of precision on the part of the opponents in disclosing the precise scope of the initial attack the Hearing officer made no award of costs.

Full decision O/485/02 PDF document74Kb