Thursday, 7 February 2008

South Africa Gap litigation

The Gap Corporation has been involved in ongoing litigation with a South African company, A M Moolla, who registered the Gap mark in the 1970s and the SCA decision was an important decision on the ambit of Paris Convention Article 6bis protection in South Africa (see here for the decision http://www.law.wits.ac.za/sca/judgment.php?case_id=13092). At that time, the court stated that 'the result may satisfy neither party because the respective ability of each to prevent the other from using GAP marks in the country hangs in the air and further litigation may be 'on the cards'. Famous last words! Since then, a variety of issues have served before the courts.Last May Moolla, whose marks were expunged for non-use by the SCA, obtained an interim interdict preventing the distributor for Gap from selling branded goods, on the basis that it held common-law rights to the mark. Gap's application for leave to appeal was refused. Gap then appealed this refusal, alleging bias on the part of the judge - the basis of this complaint was that the judgement was a 'cut-and-paste' of the Moolla's heads of argument. In the most recent instalment of this saga, Gap was granted leave to appeal the interim interdict, and Gap products can be marketed until a final ruling is given. See
http://allafrica.com/stories/200802040844.html

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