McMullen Nolan Group Pty Ltd [2015] ATMO 68 (27 July 2015)

McMullen Nolan Group applied to register its trade mark MNG in relation to building/construction and scientific/design services. Following Examiner’s objections wherein the Examiner took the view that the trade mark MNG was a commonly used acronym that should be available for other traders to use.

The applicant requested to be heard, provided written submissions and brief evidence of the use it has made of its trade mark.

The Hearing Officer noted that:

[S]imply identifying that a word (or acronym) may have a meaning is not sufficient to find that the Trade Mark is not prima facie capable of distinguishing. One must consider both the ‘ordinary signification’ of the word (or acronym) and also the legitimate desire of other traders to use it in relation to the same or similar services.

Part of the applicant’s submission was information about the MNG file format and its rarity in use. Given the rarity of use of the term, the Hearing Officer found that MNG would not be understood to be directly descriptive of the services at issue.

Furthermore, the Hearing Officer found that use of MNG as a file format could not amount to a ‘direct reference’ in relation to the services at issue, which were heavily centred on design and development.

The applicant is to be accepted for registration.

To view the Office decision, click here.