In a ruling regarding Opposition to IL 172331, the arbitrator of Intellectual Property, Noach Shalev Shmulovich has ruled that “Sabon Shel Safta” – literally Granny Soap is acceptable for trademark registration despite opposition from Safta Gemila, Medicinal Soap LTD.
The ruling considers that the generic term granny is not descriptive but is merely a hint at traditional, home-made rather than industrial.
Fair enough, and the ruling jumps through the usual hoops regarding phonetic and visual similarity, generic descriptiveness and dilution. Nevertheless, I find the ruling has basic inconsistencies with other recent Israel trademark rulings by Assistant Commissioner Shmulovich who claims that Safta Jemila, Medicinal Soap LTD. is not a well known mark, but went on to rule that even if it were, since the word safta or grandma is generic and merely hints at properties of the soap, the mark would still be allowable.
This is totally opposite to the ruling re Virgin Candles, hinting at fabrication from olive oil (for sacramental purposes – shabbat and Chanucka candles)
where term virgin is often used in conjunction with olive oil as indicative of purity.
That mark was disallowed following opposition from Virgin Enterprises, but Richard Branson doesn’t make candles and didn’t have a registration in the class.