|OUR CLIENT’S MARK||OPPONENT’S MARK|
TUNIS – On 7 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 Tunisia in class 34. The application was assigned number TN/E/2016/776 and then published in the Official Gazette dated 25 December 2017.
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 Trademark Law.
In response, we submitted 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 Tunisia;
- 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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