Tuesday, 28 January 2014

LNIDA SUIZA off the menu in Argentina

In Gloria SA v Embajada de Suiza en la República Argentina (Case 825/2006, August 23 2013), the Argentine Court of Appeals reversed the decision of the trial court which dismissed the Swiss Embassy's opposition to the registration of LINDA SUIZA  (meaning 'pretty Switzerland').

Gloria SA's application was for milk, yoghurt, cheese and dairy products in Class 29, as well as mineral waters, sodas, non-alcoholic beverages, fruit beverages, syrups and other preparations for beverages in Class 32. The Swiss Embassy  opposed, arguing that the mark would mislead consumers as to the origin of the products and that it included the name of a foreign nation, contrary to Articles 3(d) and (g) of the Trade Mark Law). A further ground was based on Article 10bis of the Paris Convention and Article 953 of the Civil Code (which prohibit acts which are contra bonos mores).

According to the Court of Appeals, the word 'Suiza' is officially recognised by the Argentine government as designating the Swiss Confederation. While the mark did not consist of the word 'Suiza' alone, it was the most important element of the mark since 'linda' was of little consequence. The Court of Appeals did not address the other grounds of opposition.

Source: "Swiss embassy prevents registration of mark containing 'Switzerland'" by Jorge Otamendi, G Breuer, Buenos Aires, posted on World Trademark Review, 27 January 2014

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