Trade mark decision

BL Number
Decision date
4 December 2001
Hearing Officer
Mr M Foley
Designer Cosmetics of London Limited
The Gillette Company & Gillette Group UK Limited (Joint Opponents)
Sections 5(2)(b) & 5(4)(a)


Section 5(2)(b) - Opposition failed

Section 5(4)(a) - Opposition failed

Points Of Interest

  • None


The opponents opposition was based on their ownership of three registrations of the marks NATREL and NATREL PLUS and NATREL PLUS (stylised) in Class 3 in respect of the same and similar goods to those of the applicant. The opponents claimed use of their marks from 1988 (the relevant date of these proceedings being May 1997) but provided only turnover figures and promotion expenditure from 1997 onwards. While such figures showed extensive sales and turnover the Hearing Officer was unable to conclude that the opponents had a reputation and goodwill in their marks at the relevant date.

Under Section 5(2)(b) the Hearing Officer noted that identical and similar goods were at issue and went on to compare the respective marks NATREL and NATREL PLUS with the applicants mark NATURESS PURE CARE. As a first step he compared the distinctive elements NATREL and NATRUESS and decided that they were not confusingly similar. A similar finding was reached when comparing the respective marks as wholes.

With regard to Section 5(4)(a) - Passing Off - the opponents had claimed that there was a similarity in the “get up” of the respective marks in use. However, the Hearing Officer did not consider that the opponents “get up” was unusual and they had not showed any reputation as regards that aspect of their marks. This coupled with a lack of goodwill and the differences in the respective marks led the Hearing Officer to the view that there was no likelihood of deception and that the opponents failed on this ground.

Full decision O/536/01 PDF document92Kb