Trade mark decision

BL Number
Decision date
8 November 2001
Hearing Officer
Mr M Reynolds
03, 16, 18, 25
Guepard SA
Chanel Limited
Sections 3(6); 5(2)(a) & 5(4)(a)


Section 3(6) - Opposition failed

Section 5(2)(a) - Opposition failed

Section 5(4)(a) - Opposition failed

Points Of Interest

  • 1. Effect of undertaking by predecessors in business
  • 2. Restraint of trade


The opposition was based on the opponents’ registrations of their mark consisting of intertwined letters C. The Hearing Officer did not consider that there was likely to be confusion between these marks and the Section 5(2)(b) objection failed accordingly. He also found against the Section 5(4)(a) objection.

The principal ground of the opponents’ case, however, was their opposition under Section 3(6). The basis of their allegations under this headings was the existence of undertakings given by the applicants’ predecessors in business to the opponents, and which had played a significant role in opposition proceedings under the 1938 Act. The present application had been made in breach of these undertakings and in full knowledge of the outcome of the earlier opposition proceedings, said the opponents. Hence, the application had been made in bad faith. The opponents also alleged that the applicants did not intend to use the mark, but this point was not pressed at the Hearing.

The Hearing Officer, having reviewed the evidence noted its paucity (three documents, all previously considered plus one new affidavit) and he referred to the onus on those making any allegation of bad faith to prove their case: he came to the conclusion, "not without considerable hesitation" that the Section 3(6) opposition had not succeeded.

In case the matter should go to appeal, however, he went on to consider whether the earlier undertakings had placed an obligation on the present applicants, and also whether the undertaking were a restraint of trade. In neither of these matters was he fully satisfied that the applicants had a strong defence.

Full decision O/493/01 PDF document512Kb