Trade mark decision

BL Number
Decision date
12 December 2001
Hearing Officer
Mr M Reynolds
18, 20, 25
Martin Mitchell
Martin Imdahl
Sections 5(1), 5(2)(a) & 5(2)(b)


Section 5(1) - Opposition failed

Section 5(2)(a) - Opposition failed

Section 5(2)(b) - Opposition failed

Points Of Interest

  • None


The opponent’s opposition was based on his ownership of two CTM registrations in classes 18, 25 and 28 for a very stylised letter M within a circle and a block letter M within two concentric circles. Both parties claimed use but neither party filed any details so the Hearing Officer was provided with no information as to how the respective marks were in fact used.

The Hearing Officer quickly disposed of the grounds under Sections 5(1) and 5(2)(a) since he determined that the opponent’s marks were not identical to the applicant’s mark.

Under Section 5(2)(b) the Hearing Officer noted that identical goods were at issue and went on to compare the applicant’s M mark with the opponent’s block letter M mark which he held represented the opponent’s strongest case. Before comparing the respective marks the Hearing Officer noted that single letter marks have a low capacity to serve as designations of origin in their own right and that in relation to the goods at issue here, the selection and purchase of such goods is generally done on a visual basis.

While the Hearing Officer considered that the respective marks had some similarity from an aural, visual and conceptual point of view since both marks contained the letter M he considered that the representations of the letter M in each of the marks was somewhat different and the device elements had a different visual impact. Overall he considered that the respective marks were not confusingly similar and that the opponent failed in his opposition.

Full decision O/558/01 PDF document41Kb