Monday, 1 September 2014

ULKER BISKREM: bad faith registration cancelled in Djibouti

A Djibouti company trading under the name of Mr Fuad Taha Ahmed Katen ('Fuad') registered the words ULKER BISKREM in December 2012 for goods in Class 30. The mark was published in the daily newspaper La Nation in 9 June 2011 subject to cancellation within five years from the publication date, there being no opposition stage.

A Turkish company, Yildiz Holding Anonim Sirketi ('Yildiz') filed a cancellation action before the Commercial Court, citing the following:
* prior registrations of ULKER BISKREM as word mark and in various designs by Yildiz in Djibouti, as well as the Czech Republic, Germany, Pakistan, Slovak Republic, Yemen, Kazakhstan, OAPI, Romania, Ukraine, Kosovo, Montenegro, Macedonia, Republic of Serbia, Turkey, Trinidad, Algeria, Albania, Bulgaria, Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq, 
Morocco, Russia and others (there was also a Community trade mark);
* prior use of the mark by Yildiz both in Djibouti and abroad.
It appeared that Fuad had been buying and distributing Yildiz's trade marked products in Djibouti, Ethiopia, Somalia and Eritrea for the past seven years, so his opposed mark was registered in bad faith.

Following a full hearing, the Court ruled in favour of cancelling Fuad's registration of the trade mark ULKER BISKREM.  Yildiz was also awarded reimbursement for the damages in the amount of DJF500,000 (US$ 2,795.34).

Since the decision was not appealed within six months from notification date, it has become final.

Source: NJQ & Associates August 2014 Newsletter.  NJQ & Associates acted on behalf of Yildiz in these proceedings.

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