Michel Mercier

Michel Mercier

This is an interesting hair pulling cat fight between Michel Marcier LTD represented by Adv Ron Klagsbald and Michel Mercier represented by Reinhold Cohen.

The parties have been punished for wasting the patent office’s time.

In 2012, Michel Mercier filed Israel Trademark No 251414 “Michel Mercier” for Products for cleaning, treatment, care, coloring and styling of hair; hair colors and hair color removers; soaps; perfumery; essential oils in class 3, Electric and non-electric devices for combing hair, hair styling, hair cutting, hair removal and hair treatment; parts and fittings for the aforementioned devices, in class 8, Hair dryers for domestic use and for professional use in class 11, Hair brushes and combs, electric and non electric in class 21, Retail sale and wholesale services, on-site and online, of products, devices and accessories for hairdressing, hair care, hair cleaning, hair treatment, hair coloring, hair styling and hair decorating in class 35, and Hair dressing schools; educational services, courses, seminars, organization of conferences, events and exhibitions; all in the field of hairdressing, hair care, hair cleaning, hair treatment, hair coloring, hair styling and hair decorating in class 41 and Hairdressing, hair care, hair cleaning, hair treatment, hair coloring, hair styling and hair decorating; beauty salons services; spa services; Information and consultation in respect of hairdressing, hair care, hair cleaning, hair treatment, hair coloring, hair styling and hair decorating, on-site and online in Class 44.

In 2011, Michel Mercier LTD. filed the name “Michel Mercier” for hair-brushes in class 21.

The Israel Trademark Division of the Patent Office refused to register both marks under section 29 of the Ordinance.

The parties requested coexistence under Section 30, but the Israel Trademark Division of the Patent Office would not ratify the agreement as being against the public interest, since there would be confusion regarding the source of the goods. The case was referred to the Deputy Commissioner who gave the parties on opportunity to submit evidence that there would be no likelihood of confusing the public and set a date for a hearing.

On the day before the hearing, the parties requested postponement claiming that there was an agreement being hammered out with an arbitrator and that some issue had come up which they were attending to as fast as possible and would reschedule.

The hearing was scheduled two months earlier and the parties did not provide an explanation for requesting postponement only the day before. The postponement wasted judicial and administrative resources and wasted time of legal aids and trainees who prepare for such hearings, and time spent in setting up and preparing for this hearing could have been used to hear other cases.

Citing Judge Levine in 3135/00 Saliman Sulman and others vs. George Shokire Accountant and Others, she noted that the litigating parties are not the only people affected by this ‘request’ which did not leave time her time to consider and which became a fait accompli cancellation as neither party showed up.

Ms Bracha therefore fined each party 2500 Shekels to be paid into the public purse of the Patent Office.

Ruling re Competing Marks Michel Mercier, Ms Bracha, 13 January 2015 

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