The Coca-Cola Company prevails over NAUGHTY MOTHER

The Coca-Cola Company has successfully opposed the registration of the trade mark NAUGHTY MOTHER in respect of non-alcoholic beverages in The Coca-Cola Company v Matthew Shea [2009] ATMO 49.

The Coca-Cola Company relied on its three prior registrations for the trade mark MOTHER and device in support of the ground of opposition raised under section 44. The word MOTHER was said to be the essential feature of these prior registrations and in the case of two of the three, the distinctiveness of the word MOTHER was said to be reinforced by an unexpected contradiction introduced by the graphic features of the marks, namely a monster, a Venus flytrap, and thorny flowers.

The Coca-Cola Company also argued that in the mark NAUGHTY MOTHER, NAUGHTY was the antithesis to the stereotypical kind, loving mother, and that a NAUGHTY MOTHER drink would be seen as a new, more exciting form of the MOTHER drink.

The hearing officer accepted these arguments, noting that the goods of the applicant were identical to those of the opponent and directed at the same market. He concluded that there was a real, tangible risk of actual confusion in the marketplace.