Aoan International Pty Ltd [2014] ATMO 118

Ex Parte Hearing into the registrability of the trade mark MH370 for entertainment and publication services in Class 41.

Initially, the Trade Marks Office objected to the application under section 41, that it was not capable of distinguishing the services applied for. The Trade Marks Office then issued a further report in which an objection under section 42(a) was raised (the trade mark contains scandalous matter). In the further report, the Trade Marks Office also issued notice that it intended to reject the application.

Once it had requested to be Heard, the applicant was allowed one month to prepare and file its evidence. Part of this evidence included written submissions that “[m]y intention to register MH370 under a class 41 is a genuine attempt to locate flight MH370 through ‘impartial’ educational means and to restore public confidence in air travel”.

The Hearing Officer noted that, at the time the application was file, MH370 had a definite meaning in the minds of Australian consumers. Whilst MH370 was not found to be descriptive ‘pre se’, the Hearing Officer found that it was likely to be required legitimately by other traders.

The section 41 objection was maintained and the section 42(a) ground did not need to be considered. The application is to be rejected.

To view the Office decision, click here.