The makers of Bailey’s (the delicious Irish cream liqueur that goes down like water) have successfully opposed a trade mark application from Childrens Cancer Aid Limited (CCAL) for ‘McBaileys’.
R & Bailey & Co, a subsidiary of Diageo, filed an opposition to CCAL’s trade mark application on the grounds that consumers would assume there was a connection between Bailey’s and McBaileys. On the contrary, McBaileys put forward the argument that their product was significantly different, as it contained a McVEGAN Scottish formula and was a clear Scottish alternative to the traditional Irish liqueur.
Typically, the most common grounds for opposing a trade mark application are:
Bailey’s advanced arguments 2 & 3 and it would appear that Intellectual Property Office agreed with them.
This story highlights that while it is important to register a trade mark, you should look to be distinctive and avoid using a name that is confusingly similar or identical to other brands already out there. There will of course be times when you think of a name, which you think doesn’t exist, and only become aware of it during the trade mark application process, in which case you may receive a Notice of Threatened Opposition.
We can help you at any stage of the trade mark application process, whether it’s assessing the risks of your chosen name through a clearance search, opposing a trade mark application, or defending your trade mark application. Just email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to book a free consultation meeting.
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