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Another Horse in the race

In a recent judgment in the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore, a dispute arose as to whether a brand having the same image in their trademark could be opposed by the prior owner of the trademark with the same image in their trademark.

The Polo/Lauren Company is a well-known trademark and had registrations in Singapore for the Mark POLO and the symbol of the polo which is a horse and a man on top playing the sport, Polo. Royal Country of Berkshire Polo Club Ltd. owns a trademark in different classes for the mark of a horse with a man playing the sport, Polo.

The Polo/Lauren Company brought an invalidation work in order to get the registration of Royal Country of Berkshire Polo Club Ltd. Their contentions for the invalidation suit were that they had a prior registration of the mark in the different classes of goods. They claimed that their mark was a well-known mark and the registration would likely cause confusion and cause damage to them.

The Principal Assistant Registrar to be dissimilar and the invalidation suit was dismissed. The two marks were not visually similar as the image had no verbal elements and the marks as a whole were extremely different as one gave the image of a sport and the other gives the image of a place. There is a low degree of similarity in the marks due to the photo of the man playing polo but as a composite mark ,it is unlikely that the consumers would get confused between the two.