Israel Trademark No. 259564 for the logo “Cook and Bake” was filed by “Surprise Import & Marketing Of Gifts Ltd”. It covers cutlery and razors in class 8, devices for hitting, cooking in class 11 (from the Hebrew, it seems beating heating was intended) and for tools and Household or kitchen containers, glassware, porcelain and earthenware not included in other classes in class 21.The mark was registered and for obvious reasons Cook n’ Bake LTD. filed to cancel the mark on 27 May 2014. On 7 August 2014, the mark owner requested an extension to respond to the request. A change of personnel at the legal representative (Gornitzky and Partners, Attorneys-at-Law) was given as grounds for the extension request.
The legal representative claimed that the deadline for filing evidence was 1 August 2014, but the patent office calculated that it was actually two months from the date of the submission of the cancellation request of 27 July 2014, and had already passed.
Gornitzky and Partners, Attorneys-at-Law were and remained the agent of record. A change of personnel within the firm, or moving a case from one attorney’s responsibility to another is not considered a change of representation. The argument that the lawyer had not got around to reviewing the case was not considered a legal basis for a time extension. Ms Shoshani Caspi who ruled on the request, felt that by Law the request should have been thrown out. Nevertheless, since trademarks are property, Ms Shoshani Caspi ruled beyond the strict letter of the law, and granted the attorneys until 31 August 2014, on condition that they paid the requisite extension.
“לפנים משורת הדין” or clemency, is a legal principle well established in Jewish Law. See, for example, Babylonian Talmud: Baba Mezia 30b.
Specifically in monetary matters, strict interpretation of the Law is considered the behavior of the men of Sodom. On the other hand, lawyers should be encouraged to take their dockets seriously. In addition to requesting the extension fee, this is a classic case for ruling costs to the opposers, who could claim that their rights are ignored.
As we enter the period leading up to the Day of Judgement when we petition the Almighty to judge us mercifully and not in accordance with the strict letter of the Law, this ruling seems singularly appropriate if perhaps unfair to Cook n’ Bake LTD.
One way to compensate Cook n’ Bake LTD. would be to award them costs.