Philipp Morris Products S.A opposed a trademark registration filed by British American Tobacco (brands) Inc.
The mark in question, No. 227383 is shown above.
Despite taking extensions, Philipp Morris didn’t submit any evidence. Nor did they bother to inform the Israel Patent Authority or British American Tobacco that they wold not be submitting. Consequently, British American Tobacco didn’t submit evidence either.
However, rather than having the case dismissed, British American Tobacco have asked for a hearing, and in an intermediate ruling, Ms Yaara Shoshani-Caspi, the Arbitrator of Intellectual Property at the Israel Patent Authority, has granted this, since she considers them entitled to their day in court.
She has also awarded intermediate costs of NIS 1000 (maybe $280) to British American Tobacco within 20 days, as a way of rectifying the damage caused. failure to settle will result in the case being closed.
This decision was given on 18 January 2012.
I understand and am familiar with Ms Shoshani-Caspi’s position on using costs to rectify time-wasting. however, the money goes from one party to the other, not to the Patent Authority. These shenanigans are costly to the tax payer who pay Ms Shoshani-Caspi’s salary.
Furthermore, I suspect that the sum in question is insignificant to both parties, and indeed, to their legal representatives.
I have no idea what the grounds for this opposition are. However, if I was fighting this opposition, I think I would argue that the logo is simply a visual representation of a cigarette (end on), and thus descriptive and generic.