Israel trademarks – Use them or lose them

Off Teneh Meat Factory LTD  עוף טנא – a supplier of chickens for human consumption that had an abattoir in Hadeira, ceased trading in 1991.

The premises were bought by Off Oz Industries LTD. עוף עוז תעשיות who continued to use the name Off Teneh occasionally. However, they never licensed use of the mark from the rights holder. The only use of the rights holder Off Teneh was on tax invoices to Off Oz for rental of the premises.

In July 2008, Off Oz  applied to have Israel Trademark No. 169322 (from 2005) cancelled for lack of use. the mark in question, is a stylized mark with graphic elements and the name Off Teneh in Hebrew.

Since use of the name appeared on tax invoices alone this was not considered use in trade. Usage by Off Oz was ignored since  were never registered as a licensee. Consequently, the arbitrator of intellectual property, Ms Yaara Shoshani Caspi ruled that the mark was not in use, and canceled the registration. The decision was prefaced with a disclaimer that the ruling does not address the issue of who has rights to the name.

COMMENT

Although this looks like wanted to have their chicken and eat it, the decision is correct. the mark was not used by the rights holder. The decision shows that if marks are used by third parties, a license should be registered with the trademark office.



Categories: Israel Patent Office Rulings, Israel Trademark, trademarks

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