Apple’s recent application for THUNBERBOLT faced several citation objections.  After several submissions these objections were whittled down to just one, THUNDERBOLT held in the name of Independent Gaming Pty Ltd.

Unable to overcome the last citation objection, Apple requested an exparte Hearing.

At issue was whether Independent Gaming’s Class 9 goods covering ‘electronic gaming machines including…’ was similar to Apple’s Class 9 goods and Class 42 services.  The Examiner had initially held that Apple’s goods and services were similar to those covered under the Independent Gaming registration and maintained this view in subsequent reports.

There was also an issue related to Independent Gaming’s Class 9 goods and the use of commas where it appears semicolons should have been used, which made it difficult to interpret what goods were covered under Independent Gaming’s registration.

Apple was of the view that the Examiner had given Independent Gaming an unjustifiably broad interpretation of its Class 9 goods.

At the Hearing, the Hearing Officer accepted Apple’s construction of a narrower range of goods, relating only to ‘gaming machines’ and once Apple advised the Hearing Officer that it was willing to amend its Class 42 services to exclude programmes for gaming or gaming machines, the Hearing Officer was able to recommend acceptance of Apple’s trade mark (for the amended goods and services).

To view the Office decision, click here.