A blow to a national cheese


Nick Bolter and Annie Websper

A blow to a national cheese

ericsphotography / iStockphoto.com

The EU General Court’s decision in a case involving the trademark ‘Halloumi’ is a reminder that national certification marks are offered no special treatment when it comes to opposition proceedings. Nick Bolter and Annie Websper of Cooley report.

In July, the EU General Court handed down its judgment in the case of Republic of Cyprus v European Union Intellectual Property Office (Case T-847/16), concerning Cyprus’s opposition against Pagkyprios organismos ageladotrofon (POA) Dimosias.

In late 2012, Pagkyprios filed an application for a figurative EU trademark (EUTM) with the words ‘Cowboys Halloumi’ encircling a cowboy hat, covering cheese made from sheep’s, cow’s or goat’s milk in class 29:

Cyprus opposed the application on the basis of its earlier national certification UK trademark no. 1451888 for ‘Halloumi’, covering cheese in class 29. Cyprus cited article 8(1)(b) (likelihood of confusion) and article 8(5) (dilution/free riding/tarnishment) of Regulation (EC) 207/2009 (now, Regulation [EU] 2017/1001) as grounds for the opposition.

Nick Bolter, Annie Websper, Cooley, national cheese, Halloumi, national certification marks, trademark opposition, EU General Court, Pagkyprios , Cyprus