The Greek Cooperative Cigarette Manufacturing Company S.A. filed a couple of Israel trademark applications 175808 and 175809 for cigarettes. The marks are shown above. The protection requested was restricted to the combination of the wording and colours.
Gizeh Raucherberdarf GmbH who has been marketing tobacco products for rolling cigarettes since 1920, has had a registered trademark in Israel for the Cooper brand, dating back to 1997. Their mark, No 96528 is a slightly graphic image, but the actual word, Cooper, was disclaimed.
Gizeh Raucherberdarf opposed the Greek Cooperative Cigarette Manufacturing Company’s applications on the grounds of it being confusingly similar to their earlier mark. The Greek Cooperative Cigarette Manufacturing Company argued that they had selected the name in good faith, since Cooper was short for Cooperative.
In a ruling published 6 February 2012 by Israel Patent and Trademark Commissioner Assa Kling, the appearance and, more importantly, the sound of the Greek marks was considered as confusingly similar to the German brand.
Since marks serve to protect the public from confusion and there was a likelihood of confusion, the opposition was allowed and the Greek marks were cancelled.
No costs were awarded.