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In a Trademark dispute between Fuller's brewery and Kellogg’s company, the court rejected the claim of the opponent and awarded costs to the applicant. Fuller, Smith and Turner PLC applied to register two Trademarks “FRUIT LOOP” (Beer, lager, etc) and the device mark in the month of February 2018 for class 32 products. Kellogg’s opposed the application of Trademark as they have registered their “FROOT LOOPS” mark in the month of February 2001 for class 30 (flours, bread, pastry etc)
Fuller’s is famous for brewery and pubs in the United Kingdom. Kellogg’s is famous for cereals in the United States of America. The UKIPO quashed the opposition and awarded costs to the applicants. Section 5 and 6A of Trademarks Act, 1994 of the U.K. is applied on behalf of the opposition. The law says a Trademark which is identical or similar to an earlier Trademark shall not be registered.
The publication date of “Fruit Loop” was on March 2 and 9, 2018. The law says that within the period of five years ending with the date of publication of the application the earlier Trademark has been put to genuine use in the U.K. by the proprietor in relation to goods and services registered. The court analysed the case for proof from March 3rd 2013 to March 2nd 2018 and March 10th 2013 to March 9th 2018.
The court held that there is not so strong evidence of any sale figures for the U.K. from 1963 by the opponents. There was no reputation and genuine use of Kellogg’s product in the U.K. Moreover the Court observed that the mark of opponent has a low degree of reputation.
The Court next compared the mark and words “Froot Loops” and “Fruit Loop”. The Court found visual similarities with different spellings. It was held that the applicant's mark is similar to the opponent mark to a low degree.
The Court said that “Fruit Loop” bearing number 3288748 is similar to the opponent's mark to a medium degree. Trademark number 3288758 is similar to the opponent mark to a low degree. The Court observed that the natures of the goods of both companies are not similar. So there is no possibility to make a link between the marks of two parties. The opposition under Sec 5(3) therefore fails and the applicant has been awarded a cost amounting to £2,400.