An example of this device can be found in Weight Watchers (UK) Ltd and others v Love Bites Ltd and others  EWPCC 11, which came before Judge Colin Birss QC on 21 February 2012 and which, despite its non-precedental, non-binding nature has wisely been posted on the BAILII website here for all to contemplate.
|Feeling a little queasy, Herbert now realised|
that there were better ways to dispose of unwanted
sandwiches than to eat them all himself ....
On this basis, and armed with some survey evidence, Weight Watchers commenced proceedings before the Patents County Court. They said Love Bites was infringing their trade mark under the Trade Marks Act 1994 section 10(2) by causing a likelihood of confusion on account of the similarity of marks and products, as well as under section 10(3), by taking unfair advantage of the repute of their mark or by tarnishing it without due cause.
In the course of the case management conference, the judge asked the parties if they'd like him to give them a preliminary and non-binding opinion as to the merits of the case. Both sides said that they were willing and indeed wished to embark on that course.
Having heard arguments on both sides, Judge Birss QC gave his non-binding opinion that there was a strong case that the use of the WAIST WATCHERS trade mark infringed the earlier WEIGHT WATCHERS mark and that their registration of the WAIST WATCHERS trade mark was invalid.
The IPKat was most impressed with the manner in which the judge handled the whole matter. By giving Love Bites the chance to put its case he was able to satisfy it that was being treated seriously and respectfully by the judicial system; by giving a non-binding opinion he was able to tell Love Bites what 99% of this weblog's readers would probably have told them anyway, that they were on a one-way ticket to defeat. With luck, this should finish the matter off more speedily and cheaply than if the full machinery of even the relatively economical Patents County Court had been engaged.
Merpel is mystified that, having identified Love Bites as an over-similar entity in the first place, Weight Watchers let it carry on to the point that it applied for and got a highly similar trade mark without letting out so much as a squeak. Had the international company been slimming down its trade mark watch operations, or what?
How to make a perfect sandwich here and here
How to hide a love bite here