Jan 29, 2018

Bad faith ruling in ALEXANDER appeal

Geoffrey Hobbs QC has refused an application on appeal to register ALEXANDER as a UK trademark for mirrors and picture frames for the applicant CKL Holdings NV.

Mr Michael Gleissner is the owner of the Dutch business and is infamous in trademark circles, having previously made large-scale cancellation actions.

The application was opposed by Paper Stacked Ltd, a competitor within the printing services industry. They brought forward substantial evidence against the application. It was argued that Mr Gleissner is a director of over 1200 UK companies, that he owns hundreds of marks, lots of which contain common names (such as ANNA, HOWARD and PETER), or other common words (such as BLUE, SAND and EMERALD) and that he has also registered distinctive names (such as EUIPO and TESLA).

Mr Hobbs had no difficulty in dismissing CKL Holding's appeal, with guidance from various authorities including Red Bull GmbH v Sun Mark Ltd [2012] EWHC 1929 (Ch), in which Mr Justice Arnold set out eight general principles on Bad Faith in trademark registrations.

The Registrar provided further observations which helped to 'reinforce' Geoffrey Hobbs QC's decision. The Registrar said that Mr Michael Gleissner has had so many cases involving his company that at one point they accounted for 8% of all the contested UK trade mark cases. Although, they have gradually reduced over recent months. Furthermore, he was communicating from various legal entities all coming from the same address. In November 2017 the Registrar issued 42 final decisions and Mr Gleissner's companies were party to 8 of those decisions (nearly 20%).

If you have any questions on the above, please do not hesitate to contact the team at McDaniel & Co. on 0191 281 4000 or legal@mcdanielslaw.com.

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