COMBINED GROUP OF COMPANIES PTY LTD [2016] ATMO 6

This matter concerned an application to extend the deadline for the opponent to file evidence-in-reply in relation to its opposition to registration of the trade mark RAIN MATE.

The opponent filed a Statutory Declaration that was not witnessed or signed and was missing an exhibit. The following day, the opponent filed the missing exhibit. Two days after that, the opponent wrote to the Registrar requesting an extension of time to file its evidence as there were computer based issues that prevented it from correctly uploading the evidence in time.

The Hearing Officer noted some issues with how the declaration was ‘made’ and whether it was correctly made at all, as the document was ‘witnessed’, but then electronically signed by the secretary of the declarant and not directly by the declarant or witness.

In any event, the Hearing Officer decided that the contents of the declaration are crucial to the opposition matter and exercised the Registrar’s discretion to allow the declaration to be submitted, provided that it is correctly made and filed within two weeks.

It appears that this matter is being appealed through the Courts – stayed tuned for updates.

To view the Office decision, click here.

This article is an extract from Spruson & Ferguson’s monthly summary of Australian Trade Mark Office decisions. You can view the entire month’s summary here.