The company Yarra Valley produces a specialty marinated cheese named PERSIAN FETTA. Yarra Valley sued Lemnos Foods for infringing on its trade mark. However, Lemnos counter claimed for cancellation holding Yarra Valley’s trademark as descriptive. Yarra Valley had applied to register the mark and it was granted in May 2002. Subsequently Yarra Valley licensed the mark to National Foods for their cheese range.
In 2009, Lemnos began marketing a marinated cheese under the name PERSIAN MARINATED CHEESE, in similar packaging to Yarra Valley’s cheese product. Lemnos argued that the name PERSIAN FETTA was common in describing a type of cheese originating in a specific geographical area. The Court upheld Lemnos’ ‘descriptive’ argument; considered that Yarra Valley’s mark had failed to obtain distinctiveness through use and ordered cancellation as Yarra Valley’s mark failed to meet trademark requirements.
Source: World Patent and Trademark News
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