19 November 2018Trademarks

UKIPO backs bed retailer in trademark opposition

An individual’s trademark application for ‘Livingdreams’ has been rejected in the UK, following an opposition by bed retailer Dreams.

Heather Harrison delivered the decision on behalf of the UK Intellectual Property Office (IPO) on Wednesday, November 14.

In 2017, Nicole Hoch sought UK protection for international trademark registration number 1,356,340, covering furniture in class 20. The figurative mark contains the word ‘Livingdreams’ next to a small shape, which Harrison said “bears some resemblance to a kite”.

Dreams, a UK-based bed manufacturer and retailer, opposed the mark on the basis of three earlier-registered EU trademarks.

Word mark ‘Dreams’ (11,424,538) and a figurative mark showing the word on a curved line (11,582,764) were both registered in 2013. Another figurative mark showing the word “Dreams” on a curved line, featuring the colours purple and pink, was registered in 2014.

The marks are registered in class 20 for bedroom furniture, class 24 for bed linen, and class 35 for retail services related to the sale of furniture.

In response to the opposition, Hoch said that the differences between the marks are sufficient to void any likelihood of confusion.

At the IPO, Harrison noted that the nature of the goods covered by the marks is “self-evidently identical” and would be purchased by consumers with an attention level that is “above average but not of the highest degree”.

The applied-for mark and the earlier-registered marks all contain the word “dreams”, meaning that there is an “obvious point of visual similarity”, but also an “obvious difference because of the presence of the word ‘Living’ at the beginning of the contested mark”, Harrison said.

Overall, she found that the marks are aurally and visually similar to a medium degree and conceptually similar to a very high degree, due to the common reference to dreams and the perception that “Living’” refers to goods intended for use in the living areas of a home.

Taking into account consumers’ imperfect recollection, Harrison concluded that consumers are likely to confuse the marks and may believe that ‘Livingdreams’ is an addition to the Dreams brand.

“I accept that the order and conjoining of the words ‘Livingdreams’ is somewhat unusual but it is not, in my view, sufficient to mitigate the likelihood of the consumer misremembering the marks and being confused,” she said.

The IPO ordered Hoch to pay £900 ($1,154) towards Dreams’ costs.

Earlier this year, the IPO dismissed Dreams’ opposition to competitor Mattress Firm’s applied-for ‘Sleep Happy’ mark.

Dreams had relied on an earlier-registered figurative mark featuring the words “the bed people” and “Save money. Sleep happy.”, but the IPO said that Dreams’ opposition was “untenable” as no likelihood of confusion exists.

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12 April 2018   The UK Intellectual Property Office has dismissed a mattress retailer’s trademark opposition, after finding that its opposition to a competitor’s mark was “untenable”.