Beer Brands Not Protectable in Gaza

The Trademark Office in Gaza issued Ministerial Decision No. 16 of 2010 on 1 August 2010 stating that is not possible to file new trademark applications in class 32 covering beers and lager any longer, nor it is possible to renew registered trademarks covering the same items.  The Gazan Trademark Office has restated this Decision.

In Taybe, a Christian Arab village just East of Ofra there is a micro-brewery called Taybe Beer that is owned by the Khoury family.  There was a time when Rav Avi Gisser, the Rabbi of Ofra gave Rabbinic supervision to the beer, but this is no longer the case.

Should a fundamentalist Muslim country prevent registration of trademarks for alcohol or should it have sympathy for its minorities? We recently filed a trademark for bacon products for a Russian client. Neither Jews or Muslims eat bacon, and many Jews who are not strict observers of laws relating to Kosher food nevertheless refrain from eating bacon. There are, however, Russian immigrants who are not Jewish. There are also Russian Jews living in Israel who grew up in Russia and like bacon. I don’t think that trademark offices should use public order clauses to enforce religious dietary laws.

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