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This case demonstrates the application of these Trade Marks Act 1995 (Cth) opposition grounds, in relation to international brands and their reputations:
The Opponent’s evidence showed that there were:
However, it didn’t show:
Some of the opponent’s evidence also post-dated the priority date which was disregarded.
The Opponent (Major League Basketball Properties Inc.) failed to prove that the international registration for ‘MLB’ (filed a tobacco company) should be refused.
The decisive factor was that the Hearing Officer held the Opponent only had a reputation in Australia for goods/services (for sportswear clothing) that were different to those of the opposed trade mark (tobacco and e-cigarettes) and that there were two distinct trade channels.
This meant that-
While the Applicant won the case, the Hearing Officer rejected their argument that an adverse inference should be drawn from the fact that the Opponent didn’t pursue/press objections under ss44 (substantially identical or deceptively similar) and 58 (Applicant not true owner of the mark).