HUMMER CASE SUMMARY
|Subject Heading:||I.D.1. Similarity of Marks|
|Case Name and Citation:||
RUTE ITHALAT VE IHRACAT A.S. v.s. GENERAL MOTORS LLC. & TURKISH PATENT INSTITUTE Case No. 2006/448; Decision No.2011/235 (Ankara 1st Court of Intellectual and Industrial Rights, October 18, 2011)
|Plaintiff:||RUTE ITHALAT VE IHRACAT A.S.|
|Defendant:||GENERAL MOTORS LLC. & TURKISH PATENT INSTITUTE|
|Marks Associated with Goods/Services:||
Plaintiff's HUMMER trademark application in classes 03, 25, and 42
|Nature of Case:||
Court action for cancellation of the TPI’s decision of rejection of the trademark application for HUMMER
The trademark application filed by the plaintiff has been totally rejected due to the defendant’s objection made before the Higher Council of the TPI following which the plaintiff has instituted a court action against the TPI (as the body having rendered the decision) and against the defendant (as the party which has opposed against their trademark application) for cancellation of the TPI’s decision.
|Overview of Decision and Ruling:||
The plaintiff claimed that; the decision of the TPI is contrary to the facts and that the rejection of the TPI is against law. The plaintiff claimed the cancellation of the administrative decision and the continuance of the registration proceedings.
The defendant TPI, claimed that, all proceedings are in compliance with laws.
The defendant GENEAL MOTORS LLC. claimed that; the trademark HUMMER is registered in different countries of the world, that the plaintiff’s shareholder R.T., is the representative of the entity The Route Group which is authorized to sales and marketing of HUMMER vehicles. The defendant claimed that, R.T. has exceeded his authority by registering the HUMMER trademark in the name of the plaintiff and that he also tried to register the subject trademark HUMMER and that this application has been prevented rightfully by the TPI upon their opposition.
In the light of the evidences submitted by the parties and of the expert report, the Court has determined that; the disagreement between the parties is the prevention of the trademark application due to bad faith of the applicant (plaintiff). The court has determined that the representative of the plaintiff who is also the wife of R.T. should be aware of the distribution agreement signed between the defendant and R.T. The court has determined that the representation of a company should be evaluated in a wide range so that the close relatives and the managers of the representative should be aware of the distribution agreement signed with the defendant. Therefore the court has determined that the plaintiff has not behaved as a prudent businessman and that the plaintiff’s application to register the trademark HUMMER was done in bad faith. The court has also determined that the plaintiff has reacted in the aim of benefiting from the reputation of the trademark HUMMER and to create unfair competition.
The Court has ruled to the prevention of the trademark registration.
|Importance of Case:||
The court has accepted the wide ranging effect of a distribution agreement and approved the determination of the TPI concerning bad faith.
|Contributing Firm:||Deris Attorneys At Law Partnership|