In the UK, trademarks are filed and protected on a first-come first-served basis. In this case, therefore, the Canadian All Reds have registered a trademark in the UK and this will take priority over the attempt by Preston Rugby Union Club (PRU). Therefore, when PRU go to register the name ‘Lancashire All Reds’, the Canadian All Reds could object to the registration.
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There are several grounds upon which they could object to the registration; these objections would have to be lodged at the Company Names Tribunal which is a department within the UK Intellectual Property Office. In order to make an objection, it will be necessary for the Canadian All Reds to show that the name is the same as their name and that they have built up a degree of goodwill or reputation with the name. The name does not have to be exactly the same; however, it does have to be so similar that it is likely to mislead individuals into believing that the two are linked. One of the factors that have been established when objecting to a trademark registration is that ‘a genuine, properly substantiated likelihood of confusion’ exists. The case of Royal Berkshire Polo Club stated that, in order for an objection to be successful, it is absolutely essential that there is this element of confusion. In this case, the Royal Berkshire Polo Club attempted to register a trademark that was objected to by the Polo Ralph Lauren Company by virtue of section 5(2) of the Trade Marks Act 1994, stating that it believed the mark was similar to identical goods. This would be the same objection that the Canadian All Reds would bring, due to the fact that they are similar products and that confusion is likely . It was also argued by Ralph Lauren that they had built up a substantial amount of goodwill and as the Canadian All Reds have been in operation for over a century and gained considerable success in this time, it is likely that this argument could also be used by the Canadian All Reds. It was held, in this case, that it was necessary to consider what a reasonable consumer would think and whether confusion would be reasonably likely. Based on this, it will be necessary for the Canadian All Reds to argue that allowing the name ‘Lancashire All Reds’ (particularly given their nickname ‘All Reds’) would confuse consumers. As the Canadian All Reds’ trademark is registered in the UK and the Lancashire All Reds are also attempting to register in the UK, there is a definite overlap of jurisdiction. Moreover, it is also highly likely that there would be some confusion due to the fact that both organisations operate substantially in the same market place,
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