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consent under a Co-existence Agreement is a Bar to Opposition

10 June 2010

The High Court has upheld a decision that consent given under a co-existence agreement to the registration of a trade mark for certain goods was a bar to opposition on relative grounds, citing section 5(5) of the Trade Marks Act.

Omega Engineering argued that Omega SA had no right to oppose its application to register OMEGA in respect of certain goods since it had expressly agreed not to do so under a co-existence agreement between the two parties. Omega SA argued, amongst other things, that the co-existence agreement was irrelevant to an objection made on relative grounds. Mr Justice Arnold disagreed stating that it would be unjust if a party who had consented to the registration of a trade mark could successfully oppose the application to register it.

This has to be the right decision otherwise the usefulness of co-existence agreements would be severely threatened.

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