The Australian Government’s National Health Call Centre Network applied to register the trade mark NATIONAL HEALTH SERVICES DIRECTORY for a range of goods and services in Classes 9, 16, 41, 42 and 44.
The application was initially refused under section 41(5) on the grounds that the trade mark was purely descriptive of the goods and services being offered under it. The matter proceeded to anex parte Hearing where the applicant led evidence of its use only after the application date and only in a manner that the Hearing Officer deemed to be largely descriptive and inconsistent.
The applicant also led evidence of its expenditure in relation to a software application it had developed which was to be known as the ‘National Health Services Directory’. Whilst this was useful it also demonstrated that the actual expenditure on the promotion of the trade mark had been minimal.
Overall, the applicant’s evidence was found to be limited to only some of the goods and services, minimal at best, targeted only to health professionals, used in conjunction with the acronym NHSD and occasionally a stylised device. The Hearing Officer was of the view that this did not amount to sufficient evidence of use and the application was rejected.
To view the Office decision, click here.