The recent crust of Sunrider Corporation v VITASOY International Holdings Ltd [2007], concerned an antagonism to a selling mark ingress. According to s.5(2) of the Trade Marks Act 1994:

"A selling mark shall not be registered if... it is associated to an previously selling mark and is to be registered for stuff or services exact next to or quasi to those for which the before selling mark is protected, [and] near exists a chance of botch on the quantity of the public, which includes the possibility of party near the early exchange mark".

In appendix to this, Schedule 3 to the Trade Marks Rules 2000 provides that Class 32 includes:

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"Beers; stuff and treated vocaliser and otherwise non-alcoholic drinks; reproductive structure drinks and reproductive structure juices; syrups and new preparations for devising beverages [This period does not involve beverages for learned profession purposes (which are in social group 5) or drinkable beverages (which are in session 29)]."

The responsive in this valise was the registered administrator of a UK export mark for the statement 'VITALITE'. The VITALITE mark was registered for a digit of matters with seasoning and food supplements and foods. The competitor was a friendship from Hong Kong whose products integrated VITASOY: a stripe of beneficial bean plant drinks, and its VITA dairy drink products, liquid drinks, teas carbonated drinks and bottled sea.

The claimant was the registered possessor of a cipher of UK buying simon marks for the voice communication VITA and VITASOY. The contestant applied for the entry of the defendant's retail mark to be proclaimed fallacious lower than s.5(2) of the Trade Marks Act 1994 because the VITALITE mark was matching to VITASOY's marks and was registered in worship of stock that were one and the same or related to the merchandise roofed by VITASOY's grades to the size that within existed a likeliness of mess.

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The petition was incompletely dismissed by the hearing military personnel for the Registrar of Trade Marks (the "Hearing Officer"). The Hearing Officer command that at hand was no jeopardy of disorientation in percentage to the VITALITE and VITASOY man of affairs. However, he command that the location was contrary in relative amount to the VITA mark. He reasoned that the use of VITALITE by the answering in point of all commodities contained in socio-economic class 32 was credible to do jumble.

In considering the defendant's group 32 goods and the applicant's lesson 32 goods, the Hearing Officer saved that though the defendant's goods were delineated as 'herbal drinks' they were not chiefly herbal, but were a drink comme il faut to that standing in that they included herbs as minor ingredients, and that's why were potentially kindred commodity to those of the applicant's ingress.

The respondent appealed the mind in veneration of the order 32 artifact.

The thing which had to be considered was whether any of the artefact inside the VITALITE group 32 specification were the same and/or connatural to any of the goods inwardly the VITA genus 32 specification.

The ask was allowed in sector.

The accumulation in worship of the parallel of the goods were held to be in the wrong in quantity. 'Herbal drinks' inside the VITALITE discussion group 32 spec were not twin artifact within the VITA order 32 specification. A potable identified in the main as a effervescent and non-alcoholic revel made from (or plus) refined sugar cane, strawberry guava and mango did not get a 'herbal drink' by having a herbaceous plant added as a secondary component. On that basis, the humour of the flavoring paint the town red was different to that of the VITA get drunk.

It was control that they were not in competition due to the reality that one was not the secondary prize for the other, but they could all right be reasoned completing products.

Therefore the differences outweighed the similarities and so in that was no source to deviate from the Hearing Officer's close on the semblance of the marks. The finding was a beneficial find of the being of a odds of panic and was command to not be impeachable.

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© RT COOPERS, 2007. This Briefing Note does not afford a across-the-board or right-down account of the law relating to the issues discussed nor does it be legitimate direction. It is motivated with the sole purpose to detail indiscriminate issues. Specialist endorsed direction should e'er be sought in fraction to singular luck.


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