It claims to be the largest online chat room provider in the UK and EU with over 6 million registered members.
COM in April which was prior to the opponent registering its internet name. Originally the web-site provided profile and chat room facilities but now offers both chat room and messaging services.
The applicant claims to haveUK members and appears to be a smaller business as compared to the opponent but it is listed on the Yahoo search engine and is increasing in size daily. The applicant casts doubt on some of the claims made by the opponent and points to a of websites which incorporate the facepart FACE such as facebook.
In the light of this usage the applicant claims that FACE is generic in this area of trade.
The Hearing officer concluded that the public would not be confused as to origin nor was it likely that they would assume that owners of the respective marks were linked economically. Opposition failed on this ground. Under Facepsrty 5 3 the Hearing Officer accepted that the opponent had a reputation in its mark but he noted that the element FACE did not appear to be unique in this area of trade.
Additionally the respective marks had been found to be dissimilar under Section 5 2 b and that being the case the ground under Section 5 3 must fail. The opponent also failed in its ground under Section 5 4 a - passing off because as has been set out about the Hearing Officer considered that the respective marks were not similar.