Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Appellation of origin: "Jaffa" registered on the name of the Israel Citrus Marketing Board, will remain registered

In brief, an appellation of origin refers to the geographical name of a country or region, which is part of the name of a product, and aims to communicate that this product originates in such location, and that its quality and/or features are primarily due to that geographical area and its characteristics.

The district court in Jerusalem, in its function as the board of appeal for decisions of the Patents Authority (In accordance with the Israel Appellations of Origin and Geographical Indications Law, 1965 ("AOGI" ), considered the appeal of the Israel Citrus Marketing Board, in relation to the Registrar´s decision (dated January 9, 2005) to revoke the registered appellations "Jaffa" (including: "Jaffas" and also "Yafo", "Jaffa" and "Jaffas" in Hebrew).

This appellation of origin was first registered in Israel on 5 November 1968. On 16 March, 1970 the appellation was registered with the International Bureau who administers the registrations in accordance with the Lisbon Agreement for the Protection of Appellations of Origin and their International Registration" which came into effect on October 31, 1958. The registrations were renewed twice and on 24 October, 2002 the Israel Citrus Marketing Board ~filed a request to the Israeli registrar to renew it for 10 additional years.According to Article 22 of the AOGI, any unlawful use of the appellation is considered an infringement of the right of its owner. This, even if the true origin of the goods was mentioned and even if the appellation is translated to a different language or accompanied by expressions which indicate the disengagement with the original goods.Out of the 5 above mentioned names, Jaffa is the most reputable one in Israel as well as worldwide. It is the first and only Israeli appellation of origin. As was mentioned in the decision of the Israeli Registrar, Jaffa has gradually become an exclusive symbol of the Israeli export and specifically exported citrus.

Following the request of the Israel Citrus Marketing Board to renew the appellation "Jaffa", it was argued within submissions filed by Attorney Tal Band, that "Jaffa" has ceased to be an appellation as defined by AOGI. In brief, it was argued that the Israel Citrus Marketing Board has permitted the use of the appellation for citrus growing in Africa. The honorable Judge Shidlovsky Or of the court of appeals held, inter alia, that the Citrus Marketing Board is the owner of the brand "Jaffa". This right cannot be undermined in countries whereby the laws of appellation of origin are inapplicable. Such an outcome will defeat the right of an owner in his intellectual property. Hence, the appeal was allowed and Judge Or has ordered to renew the appellation for additional period of 10 years, as requested.

Amit Zuckerstein 16/7/2007

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