South African company Bodtrade 54 (Pty) Ltd has succeeded in its battle against UK giant Virgin Enterprises Limited in its fight to register the mark YOU CAN’T BE A VIRGIN ALL YOUR LIFE ITS TIME. This trade mark application for use in respect of telecommunications, cafes, restaurants and bars had been opposed by Sir Richard Branson’s company on the grounds that Virgin Enterprises is the proprietor of trade marks consisting of the word VIRGIN and the use of this mark will likely cause confusion and take “unfair advantage of, or be detrimental to”, the distinctive character or reputation of Virgin Enterprises’ earlier mark.
The UK Intellectual Property Office granted Bodtrade 54 the right to register its 10-word phrase as a trademark, and awarded costs of £1500. The UK IPO concluded that when considered as a whole, the applicant’s ten word mark has “very little visual or aural similarity” to the opponent’s mark and that “it is fanciful to suggest that the mark YOU CAN’T BE A VIRGIN ALL YOUR LIFE ITS TIME can be regarded as essentially a Virgin mark, and that its registration and use therefore disturbs the virtual uniqueness of the opponent’s Virgin mark on the UK market.”
Click here to view the full UK IPO decision.