This blogger has received a copy of a recent trade mark ruling by the Registrar of Trade Marks referenced as In Re TMA No. 68687 “KINGSTONE”, Opposition By Bridgestone Corporation, 25th May 2015. A copy of the ruling is available here.
In this matter, Sichuan Yuanxing Rubber Co. Ltd applied for registration of “KINGSTONE” as a word mark in Class 12 of the International Classification with respect to tyres. Bridgestone Corporation opposed the registration of the mark by stating that its mark “BRIDGESTONE” is a well-known mark in Kenya and around the world registered in various classes including class 12. Therefore Bridgestone argued that the mark “KINGSTONE” is so similar to the its trade marks “BRIDGESTONE” and “FIRESTONE” as to be identical to the latter and Sichuan’s trade mark would be likely to deceive and or cause confusion among the members of the public.
In the ruling, the Registrar found in favour of Bridgestone that Sichuan’s trade mark “KINGSTONE” is so similar to Bridgestone’s trade marks “BRIDGESTONE” and “FIRESTONE” as to cause a likelihood of confusion in contravention of the provisions of section 15(1) of the Trade Marks Act.
Having ruled that Sichuan’s trade mark is similar to the Bridgestone’s marks that already subsist in the Register of Trade Marks, and in respect of goods of a similar description, the Registrar also found that Sichuan’s mark “KINGSTONE” would not be able to act as a badge of origin for goods in class 12, meaning that Sichuan did not have a valid and legal claim to the trade mark “KINGSTONE” before applying to register the mark as provided for under section 20 (1) of the Trade Marks Act.