|OUR CLIENT’S MARK||OPPONENT’S MARK|
MUSCAT – On 9 November 2016, we filed a trademark application for registration on behalf of our client, I.J. Tobacco Industry FZE, for IJTI – I. J. TOBACCO INDUSTRY in Oman in class 34. The application was assigned number 105762 and then published in the Official Gazette number 1266 on 28 October 2018.
Japan Tobacco Inc. filed an opposition against our client’s application on the following grounds:
- The similarity between the marks;
- Possible confusion between the respective products;
- Prior registration of JTI by Japan Tobacco worldwide, including Oman;
- Prior use of JTI by Japan Tobacco worldwide, and
- Allowing the registration of IJTI (our client’s mark) contradicts the Trademarks Law.
In response, we submitted a counter statement based on the following:
- Lack of definite similarity between both marks;
- No evidence of confusion between both marks in terms of pronunciation or general appearance;
- Our client’s mark uses its commercial name as its brand, therefore, the mark IJTI is protected as per the articles of law;
- Worldwide registration of our client’s mark;
- JTI is not used by Japan Tobacco in Oman;
- Our client’s mark, IJTI, has been accepted and registered in the opponent’s home country of Japan;
- JTI is not used in commerce, and
- No possibility of confusion among consumers between the marks.
The Examiner accepted our counter-statement and issued a decision rejecting the opposition raised by Japan Tobacco Inc. and allowed our application for IJTI- I. J. TOBACCO INDUSTRY to register.
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