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Successful UK Opposition for Snoop Dog

Written by Leanne Davies on 23 July 2018

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The American rapper Snoop Dog has opposed a UK trademark for the word ‘Snoop’. This was opposed successfully on the grounds of bad faith. The Judgment was delivered by the UK Intellectual Property Office in Snoops favour on Monday 16th July.

The broadcasting company Snoop International applied to register the term ‘Snoop’ for precious metals and jewellery, falling under class 14. As well as lace, embroidery and ribbons in class 26. This was applied for in October 2016, examined and accepted.

A year later the rapper, also known as Snoop Dog, opposed the trademark based on previous trademarks. These included ‘Snoop Dogg’ (EU registration numbers 1,296,177 and 15,121,589); ‘Snoop Juice’ (11,536,075) and ‘Snoop Lion’ (11,121,589).

He argued that his registration for ‘Snoop’ and his other marks are similar not only in wording but in the goods that are offered. He further claimed that he owns a selection of well-known trademarks that are registered for goods including jewellery.

The rapper has claimed that since 1992 his marks have been used on some occasions and as a result of this there could be an assumption by consumers that there is a link between ‘Snoop’ and the earlier marks. Snoop also used earlier marks that are unregistered, that can be enforced under the law of passing off. These included ‘Snoop’ and ‘Snoop Doggy Dog.’

Additionally, he argued the applicant, Snoops International’s owner Michael Gleissner was not intending to use the mark but using it for blocking purposes. Gleissnar has several UK trademarks used for this purpose and Snoop has argued that this constitutes bad faith.

Gleissner went on to file a counterstatement in September 2017 denying the grounds laid out and stating that the marks offer entirely different goods. It was said that Snoop has relied on hearsay and had no concrete evidence. He also claimed that he had not been given reasonable time to show the marks intent since it was first registered.

Acting on behalf of the IPO, George Salthouse explained that Gleissnar had been given a full 17 months since the filing of the opposition to provide evidence against the allegation.

“The applicant was not provided a clear statement that it intends to use the mark in suit, nor any explanation as to why it filed the suit.”

The opposition was upheld by Salthouse on the grounds of bad faith, and Snoop International were ordered to pay Snoop Dog £1,300.

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