Israel district court refuses to hear parallel importing case concurrently with customs authority and awards expenses against plaintiff.

In Israel, Intellectual Property disputes are filed in the District Court and appealed to the Israel Supreme Court.

An Israel firm, Imperiat Toys Ltd.  hereunder, the “Importer”. contracted with a Far Eastern toy manufacturer to distribute Spinmaster LTD. toys (SEGA), carrying the Bakugan logo in Israel.

When the goods arrived in Israel, Customs impounded them, contacting the owner of the Israeli trademark application (TM 221845), Spinmaster LTD., and their distributors, Diamant Toys Ltd.

 The Importer responded by filing a motion with the Tel Aviv District Court requesting a declaratory judgement confirming their right to import the toys.

Although ruling that the goods in question that were imported were most likely legally manufactured in China, the judge dismissed the Importer’s motion, and ruled that since the Customs Authority had impounded the goods under the Trademark Ordinance,  the importer should settle the issue with customs, and that it was improper for the Importer to pursue a parallel action in the District Court, however, the importer could appeal Custom’s ruling to the courts. The judge awarded 20,000 NIS in costs against the Importer, but gave leave for this to be appealed as well.

The judge’s logic is apparently to disallow parallel legal proceedings.

the case:   019092/09 (001755/09) Imperiat Toys Ltd. vs. Diamant Toys Ltd and Asher Diamant

Categories: infringement, Israel, trademarks

1 reply

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