Applications for the two below trade marks were opposed by Citigroup, Inc., on the grounds of section 60.

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Both of the above trade marks covered ‘financial services’ in Class 36.

The opponent led evidence of its reputation in relation to a number of its trade marks, including CITI, CITIFX and CITI INSTANTFX. As part of its reputational evidence the opponent included survey results which demonstrated, according to the opponent, that 69% of people would associate a trade mark containing CITY or CITI with the opponent’s services and details of the $7.5 billion currently held by the opponent in loans and advances.

The Hearing Officer was clearly of the view that both of the applied for trade marks would lead to consumer deception or confusion as a result of the reputation enjoyed by the opponent in its various CITI marks. Accordingly, the applications were refused.

We understand that this matter is now on appeal at the Federal Court – stay tuned…

To view the Office decision, click here.