A G PROFESSIONAL HAIR CARE PRODUCTS LTD V GEAGROUP INVEST SRL [2014] ATMO 65

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The Australian designation of Geagroup’s above International Registration was opposed by A G Professional Hair Care, the owner in Australia of the below mark.

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The Geagroup trade mark covers a broad range of goods in Classes 3 and 9, while the A G Professional trade mark covers all goods in Class 3.

Geagroup took no part in the opposition. This and Geagroup’s website (showing a lack of the relevant goods being offered) were led as arguments by A G Professional to support rejection of the designation under section 59 – that Geagroup had no intention to use its trade mark.

On this point, the Hearing Officer noted that the threshold for such an argument is very high and whilst he could not comment on whether Geagroup currently intends on using its trade mark, A G Professional had not shifted the onus on it to make a prima facie case under section 59.

A G Professional was able to successfully argue that the overall impression of both of the above trade marks is the distinct letters ‘A’ and ‘G’. As such, there was a real danger of consumer deception and confusion in relation to the respective goods in Class 3.

Accordingly, Geagroup’s trade mark is to precede to acceptance for its Class 9 goods only.

To view the Office decision, click here.