Dyson Limited v The Registrar of Trade Marks: ChD 15 May 2003

Applications for trade marks on behalf of the claimant had been rejected. Acquired distinctiveness was a significant issue, and the question of whether the appeal was a review or a rehearing was significant. In this appeal, the parties had given oral evidence, and the Registrar contended that any further appeal to the High court should be by way of review only. The CPR were not excluded, but would provide for a review only.
Held: It was insufficient to characterise the decision as administartive. The appointed officer was accepted not to be an independent tribunal. The decision to be made would involve private rights and the right to a fair trial was engaged. The question was whether the court was obliged to order a rehearing rather than a review whenever an ex parte hearing had taken place. It was for the court to decide whether a rehearing was appropriate. The need to comply with Art 6.1 meant that a rehearing had to be available if needed. In this case a review was adequate. The mark sought had to be used, up to the relevant date, as a trade mark. It is otherwise difficult to see how the feature (a clear bin) could come to be regarded in the minds of the public as a guarantee of origin. On that basis the court would have dismissed the appeal on acquired distinctiveness.


The Honourable Mr Justice Patten


Times 23-May-2003, [2003] EWHC 1062 (Ch), Gazette 17-Jul-2003, [2003] 1 WLR 2406




Trade Marks Act 1994 76, Trade Mark Rules 2000 (S.I. 2000 No. 136) 54(1), Civil Procedure Rules 52.11(1), European Convention on Human Rights 6.1


England and Wales


CitedDe Cubber v Belgium ECHR 26-Oct-1984
The applicant a Belgian, had been convicted of forgery. He said that the court had not been an impartial tribunal because one of the judges had also acted as an investigating judge in his case. Amongst the grounds on which it was contended that . .
CitedSouth Cone Incorporated v Bessant, Greensmith, House and Stringer (a Partnership) trading as ‘Reef’; REEF Trade Mark ChD 24-Jul-2001
The applicants sought registration of the trade mark ‘Reef’ in connection with merchandising activities in classes 25 and 26 arising from their pop group of the same name. The challengers owned a trade mark ‘Reef Brazil’ in class 25 in relation to . .
CitedBessant and others v South Cone Incorporated; in re REEF Trade Mark CA 28-May-2002
The Reef pop group applied to register ‘REEF’ for Classes 25 and 26 – e.g. T-shirts, badges, etc. South Cone opposed them as registered proprietors of ‘Reef Brazil’ for the footwear which also was included in Class 25. South’s reputation was . .
CitedRuna Begum v London Borough of Tower Hamlets (First Secretary of State intervening) HL 13-Feb-2003
The appellant challenged the procedure for reviewing a decision made as to the suitability of accomodation offered to her after the respondent had accepted her as being homeless. The procedure involved a review by an officer of the council, with an . .
CitedKoninklijke Philips Electronics NV v Remington Consumer Products Ltd ECJ 18-Jun-2002
The claimant developed a three headed rotary razor for men. They obtained registration of the arrangement as a trade mark. They sued the defendant for infringement, and the defendant countered challenging the validity of the registration, saying the . .
CitedWindsurfing Chiemsee Produktions and Vertriebs GmbH v Boots und Segelzubehor Walter Huber and another ECJ 4-May-1999
Registration is to be refused in respect of descriptive marks, ie marks composed exclusively of signs or indications which may serve to designate the characteristics of the categories of goods or services in respect of which registration is applied . .
CitedProcter and Gamble Co v Office for Harmonisation in the Internal Market (Trade Marks and Designs) (OHIM) (‘Baby-Dry’) ECJ 20-Sep-2001
ECJ Appeal – Admissibility – Community trade mark – Regulation (EC) No 40/94 – Absolute ground for refusal to register – Distinctive character – Marks consisting exclusively of descriptive signs or indications – . .
CitedDavid West Trading As Eastenders v Fuller Smith and Turner Plc CA 31-Jan-2003
The appellant sought a declaration of invalidity as regards the defendant’s registered mark ‘ESB’. It was claimed to have come to be used as a general designation of certain kinds of beer.
Held: The Philips decision appeared to supercede the . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Intellectual Property, Civil Procedure Rules, Human Rights

Updated: 25 September 2022; Ref: scu.182220