LIP LAB | Decision 2768052 – The Lip Lab Pty Ltd v. Susanne Lang Fragrance Inc.

OPPOSITION No B 2 768 052 

The Lip Lab Pty Ltd, 12 Broughton St, Camden NSW 2570, Australia (opponent), represented by HGF Limited, 1 City Walk, Leeds, Leeds LS11 9DX, United Kingdom (professional representative)

a g a i n s t

Susanne Lang Fragrance Inc., 670 Caledonia Road Suite 101, Toronto Ontario M6H4V9, Canada (applicant), represented by Redd Solicitors LLP, 22 Tudor Street

London EC4Y 0AY, United Kingdom (professional representative).

On 14/06/2017, the Opposition Division takes the following


1.        Opposition No B 2 768 052 is rejected in its entirety.

2.        The opponent bears the costs, fixed at EUR 300.


The opponent filed an opposition against all the goods of European Union trade mark application No 15 449 184 ‘LIP LAB’ for goods in Class 3. The opposition is based on the non-registered trade mark ‘THE LIP LAB’, used in the course of trade in the United Kingdom, Ireland, the Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Denmark, Germany, Greece, France, Croatia, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Hungary, Malta, Belgium, Austria, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Finland, Sweden and Spain, and the trade name ‘THE LIP LAB’, used in the course of trade in Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Croatia, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, the United Kingdom and Sweden. The opponent invoked Article 8(4) EUTMR.


According to Article 8(4) EUTMR, upon opposition by the proprietor of a non-registered trade mark or of another sign used in the course of trade of more than mere local significance, the trade mark applied for shall not be registered where and to the extent that, pursuant to the Union legislation or the law of the Member State governing that sign:

(a) rights to that sign were acquired prior to the date of application for registration of the EU trade mark, or the date of the priority claimed for the application for registration of the EU trade mark;

(b) that sign confers on its proprietor the right to prohibit the use of a subsequent trade mark.

The condition requiring use in the course of trade is a fundamental requirement, without which the sign in question cannot enjoy any protection against the registration of a European Union trade mark, irrespective of the requirements to be met under national law in order to acquire exclusive rights.

According to Article 76(1) EUTMR, in proceedings before it the Office will examine the facts of its own motion; however, in proceedings relating to relative grounds for refusal of registration, the Office is restricted in this examination to the facts, evidence and arguments provided by the parties and the relief sought.

It follows that the Office cannot take into account any alleged rights for which the opponent does not submit appropriate evidence.

According to Rule 19(1) EUTMIR, the Office will give the opposing party the opportunity to present the facts, evidence and arguments in support of its opposition or to complete any facts, evidence or arguments that have already been submitted together with the notice of opposition, within a time limit specified by the Office.

According to Rule 19(2) EUTMIR, within the period referred to above, the opposing party must also file proof of the existence, validity and scope of protection of its earlier mark or earlier right, as well as evidence proving its entitlement to file the opposition.

In the present case the notice of opposition was not accompanied by any evidence of use of the earlier signs in the course of trade.

On 15/09/2016 the opponent was given two months, commencing after the end of the cooling-off period, to substantiate the earlier rights and submit further material.

Following the opponent’s request made on 17/01/2017, the above deadline to substantiate the earlier rights and submit further material was extended until 20/03/2017.

The opponent did not submit any evidence of use in the course of trade of the earlier signs on which the opposition is based.

Given that one of the necessary requirements of Article 8(4) EUTMR is not met, the opposition must be rejected as unfounded.


According to Article 85(1) EUTMR, the losing party in opposition proceedings must bear the fees and costs incurred by the other party.

Since the opponent is the losing party, it must bear the costs incurred by the applicant in the course of these proceedings.

According to Rule 94(3) and Rule 94(7)(d)(ii) EUTMIR, the costs to be paid to the applicant are the costs of representation which are to be fixed on the basis of the maximum rate set therein.

The Opposition Division


Michal KRUK


According to Article 59 EUTMR, any party adversely affected by this decision has a right to appeal against this decision. According to Article 60 EUTMR, notice of appeal must be filed in writing at the Office within two months of the date of notification of this decision. It must be filed in the language of the proceedings in which the decision subject to appeal was taken. Furthermore, a written statement of the grounds of appeal must be filed within four months of the same date. The notice of appeal will be deemed to be filed only when the appeal fee of EUR 720 has been paid.

The amount determined in the fixation of the costs may only be reviewed by a decision of the Opposition Division on request. According to Rule 94(4) EUTMIR, such a request must be filed within one month from the date of notification of this fixation of costs and will be deemed to be filed only when the review fee of EUR 100 (Annex I A(33) EUTMR) has been paid.

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