Israel trademark no. 94760 is for the stylized mark above, including the words ‘Alghazaleen in Leaves’. The mark covers tea in class 30, and is owned by Akbar Brothers LTD., a Sri Lankan Company. It was registered in July 1996.
In February 2014, Abed Anaser Fatthi Saaed Elden filed a request to have the mark cancelled., claiming lack of use in Israel in the previous three years. The trademark office reported the cancellation request to the mark owners attorneys, Seligsohn, Gabrieli and Partners who requested and received three extensions to file-counter claims, whoever these were never actually submitted. On 23 July 2014, the challenger requested and was granted the opportunity to provide their evidence as per Section 71 of the Trademarks Regulations 1940.
On 5 October 2015, Mr Abed Anser Saaed submitted an affidavit (we presume Anaser and Anser are the same name and Abed Anaser Fatthi Saaed Elden and Abed Anser Saaed are the same person, but this is what’s written in the ruling and I have no way of knowing what the challenger to the mark’s name is). A further affidavit from a private investigator was also submitted.
The mark holder did not file evidence and their attorneys did not submit any notice whatsover.
On 12 May 2015, Mr Abed Saaed’s lawyers requested that the Israel Patent and Trademarks Office rule on the case based on the evidence in the file. The following day Seligsohn, Gabrieli and Partners requested to be relieved of their obligation to represent the mark owner due to lack of communication with them. The adjudicator Ms Yaara Shoshani-Caspi requested that the attorneys provide evidence of their attempts to establish contact with their client but it was only on 10 August 20215 when Mr Abed Saaed’s lawyers reiterated their request that the Israel Patent and Trademarks Office rule on the case based on the evidence in the file that Seligsohn, Gabrieli and Partners filed a statement listing their failed attempts to contact the client.
Despite the objective difficulty to prove a lack of use, and noting that Mr Abed Saaed was the applicant for Israel TM Application number 260834 for Al-Ghazaleen and thus an interested party, Ms Yara Shoshani Caspit felt that a prima facie case of non-use of the mark was made and no contrary evidence was forthcoming, despite attempts to contact the mark owner. Consequently the mark was cancelled and costs of 3000 Shekels were awarded against the Akbar Brothers.
With the mark holder being based in Sri Lanka and not in communication with his lawyers, it seems that collecting the damages won’t be easy.