Our Jordanian friends Qumsieh report that Arnet Pharmaceutical Corporation, filed a Yemen trademark application on 3 November 2012 for SUN Natural & Design in class five (5); the application was accepted and published in the Yemen Trademark Journal on 1 April 2013 subject to the opposition period of 3 months.
On 26 June 2013, a local company called “HAEL SAEED ANAAM AND CO” filed an opposition against the above trademark based on the following allegations:
- SUN, the mark at issue is “Shams” in Arabic, which is a translation of its prior registration Shams in Latin and Arabic characters in Yemen;
- Registration of the subject mark would mislead the public of the origin of the products and would lead to unfair competition;
- There would be a high possibility of confusing consumers between the two marks’ respective goods, and
- Registration of the opposed mark would be against Yemeni Trademark Law and International Conventions.
A counterstatement in replying to the opposition was lodged as follows:
- The marks are different in pronunciation and general appearance;
- Our client’s trademark consists of distinctive elements of the word Naturals and the device. The other trademark consists of Arabic word Shams and its English transliteration, and
- “SUN Naturals” has been used continuously in Yemen since 2007 without any conflicts.
The Committee found that the likelihood of confusion does not exist on the difference between SUN Naturals and Shams.
We note this ruling as it recalled a strange ruling by Judge Gronis, president of the Israel Supreme Court, that having registered trademarks for Shemesh for restaurants, did not provide a monopoly for the word Shemesh when applied to restaurants.