Unusual trademark decision from Israeli Patent Office

http://blog.ipfactor.co.il/2009/05/06/israel-patent-office-allows-two-companies-to-register-same-trademark/

This post from “The IP Factor” blog earlier this month talks about the Israeli Patent office allowing two companies to register the same trademark – most unusual.  As the author points out:

“The purpose of a trademark is to prevent competitors from selling confusingly similar goods with confusingly similar names”

This decision goes against that. I passed the item around the CAS-IP team  for comment and got a response from both Peter Bloch and Francesca Re Manning.  Peter said:

“I agree with the reporter that: “This decision does not serve the interests of the manufacturer or of the public.”  And that surely is the bottom line!  It is the responsibility of the trade mark office to render appropriate decisions, which this is not and there may very well be an appeal. “

Francesca commented:

“I honestly wonder what the examiner was trying to do here … how can he claim that consumers cannot be confused [by] identical trade marks for identical products which are sold in identical shops and in identical manners? If such a decision is not appealed and overturned, it can open huge controversy. OHIM … can always rely on its rules but how different are they from the law that the Israeli Patent Office applied?”

The OHIM that Francesca refers to is the Trade Marks and Designs Registration Office of the European Union.  Incidentally their website has some good general information on trademarks for those interested. Visit their “Quick Guides” pages for:

“A series of multimedia “Quick Guides” covering trade marks, designs and IP in general… The “Quick Guides” are easy to follow and user friendly. They take you you step-by-step through the different types of IP protection available and explain the pros and cons of each.”

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