Trade mark decision

BL Number
Decision date
23 December 2002
Hearing Officer
Dr W J Trott
35, 39
Squirrel Storage Limited
Squirrel Thames Valley Ltd
Section 5(4)(a)* (*An objection was also taken under Section 3(6) but was not pursued)


Section 5(4)(a) - Opposition partially successful

Points Of Interest

  • Geographical or 'activity based' protection of a limited goodwill.


The Hearing Officer found:- (i) that the opponent's trade was genuine and real and, though small, had created a protectable goodwill and (ii) that the services set out in the Class 39 application were very similar to those in which the opponents had established that goodwill and the marks were identical. He therefore had to consider the extent of the opponents' protection, since their activities had taken place in a small geographical area.

The difficulty of making a finding on the adequacy or reasonableness of a geographical limitation was removed however when it was noted that the 'self-storage' facilities in which the opponents were engaged were different in their nature from the 'storage' services specified by the applicants. The application was therefore allowed to proceed with 'self-storage' excluded from the specification.

The Hearing Officer regarded this as a 'score draw' and he awarded costs to neither party.

Full decision O/529/02 PDF document50Kb