Sport England’s success with the UK IPO is ‘inspired’
Sport England, the UK public body in respect of the regulation of sports, has succeeded in opposing a trade mark application in the UK for the phrase ‘be inspired’.
The initial application was filed by Be Inspired Gyms for the words ‘be inspired gym’ and a corresponding logo, for clothing, sports equipment and sporting services.
Sport England filed an opposition with the UK Intellectual Property Office claiming the application will cause confusion in respect of their existing marks containing the phrase ‘be inspired’.
In their opposition, Sport England claimed there was a strong level of similarity overall between the marks, in respect of identical and similar goods and services.
Sports England also cited their reputation in respect of the phrase, which was established in 2012 when they used the phrase in reference to the London Olympic Games, and subsequently in respect of continuing sporting opportunities.
The UK Intellectual Property Office considered both sides of the case and broke down the matter in order to give its decision.
Mark Bryant, on behalf of the Office, firstly considered the classes of goods and services between the marks, stating that the goods and services under classes 25 and 41 were identical whereas those under class 28 were similar.
Focusing on the marks themselves, Bryant considered the marks similarity visually, conceptually and aurally. It was decided that the marks had a medium level of similarity as the words ‘be inspired’ appeared in both.
It was also concluded that the marks had a high level of aural similarity, again due to its shared word elements.
In regard to conceptual similarity, Bryant highlighted that there was a difference in respect of where the perceiver should be inspired, however this in mind there was still a ‘good deal’ of conceptual similarity.
On this basis, Bryant’s overall decision was that there is sufficient likelihood of confusion between the application and Sport England’s existing marks, therefore their opposition should be successful.
Be Inspired Gym’s applications were subsequently refused and they were ordered to pay Sport England’s costs.
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By Ellis Sweetenham