Dinner spoilt for ‘Masterchef’ creators after UKIPO opposition rejected
Shine TV are the production company behind the TV cooking hit, Masterchef.
Masterchef is currently in it’s 21st season, after starting in the 1990’s.
The opposition was filed against an application to protect the term ‘Mister Chef’ in respect of cooking and baking utensils. The application was filed in July 2016 by London based company Mr Chef.
Shine TV filed an opposition against this application on the basis of their existing marks, two in the UK and two in the EU.
The majority of Shine TV’s existing marks were registered in respect of class 21 which covers kitchen utensils, except one which is in relation to entertainment services.
They argued that there would be confusion in the public in regards to merchandise, in that consumers are likely to believe that products sold under the ‘Mister Chef’ originate from Shine TV.
Considering the opposition, the UK Intellectual Property Office firstly confirmed that the goods covered by the application is identical.
The UK IPO then went on to consider the marks level of similarity. As the marks both contained 10 letters, 9 of which are in the same order, the Office stated the two marks were highly similar to the eye and to the ear.
However, the Office then went on to rule that the conceptual differences between the marks overruled the high visual and aural similarity.
The Office held that ‘Mister’ is a title of an adult male, whereas ‘Master’ refers to a “skilled practitioner of a particular art”. These are two distinct different meanings and therefore the public would not make a link between the two marks.
This difference in meaning is ‘sufficient to avoid likelihood of confusion’ and therefore the application can proceed to registration.
Shine TV has been given the opportunity to appeal if they wish to, therefore the matter may not be over.
If you wish to go ahead and protect your brand, please do not hesitate to get in touch with The Trademarkroom.
By Ellis Sweetenham