Another Tobacco Trademark War in Israel – this time regarding Cooper Brand

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.

3 Responses to Another Tobacco Trademark War in Israel – this time regarding Cooper Brand

  1. Eitan Shaulsky says:

    The interesting point in this decision is that Gizeh’s mark had the following disclaimer: “Registration of this mark shall give no right to the exclusive use of the word COOPER but in the form appearing in the mark”. The Cooper decision contradicts the previous FREE decision which dealt with disclaimers.

    • Eitan,

      It seems that you have a vested interest in this one, whereas my previous firm represented the Greeks.

      Let’s agree that the ruling is problematic, and see if either of our clients decides to appeal.

      Michael

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