United Brothers Co., a Palestinian company, filed two trademarks applications, the first was for “Durra & device” in class 30, application no. 15895, published on 9 December 2009, and the second for “Durra in Arabic & device” in class 30, application no. 15899, published on 9 December 2009.
Acting on behalf of our client, Al Durra Food Products Co., a Syrian company and the original owner of “Durra & device”, we filed an opposition against the above applications based on the following:
- Our client has prior registrations for “Durra” in class 30 in their home country and abroad since 11 December 2001.
- The opposed applications are identical to our client’s trademark, and will confuse the consumers as to the origins of the products.
- Our client also has prior use of the subject trademark in the same class in Syria and worldwide.
- Based on the above reasons, our client’s trademark has become a famous trademark amongst their client base and the public.
The defendant submitted a counter statement claiming that the opposition was submitted after the expiration of the opposition period, and their reply also stated that they have the right of ownership of the subject trademark, since they have a prior application for registration in the West Bank, despite the fact that the opposer had prior registrations in many countries around the world. They requested a rejection of our opposition and to carry on with their registration procedures.
The Registrar issued his decision to cancel the said application procedures, based on the following:
- The opposition was submitted during the legal opposition period for that mark.
- The Syrian company submitted evidence that they own the trademark since 2001 (in their home country and worldwide), and that date is before the date of submitting the opposed application.
- The defendant did not submit any evidence to prove their prior ownership of “Durra”.
- A trademark being accepted and published in the Official Gazette does not grant ownership of that trademark according to the law.
The defendant appealed before the High Court. After several hearings, the court issued its decree to support the Registrar’s decision and stop the trademark registration procedure, and this decision is final.
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