Brakes taken off GOODRIDE registration application


Following an earlier provisional refusal, the Cypriot registrar of trademarks has now accepted Hangzhou Zhongce Rubber Co Ltd's (HZR) international application for the trademark GOODRIDE in stylized letters in Class 12 of the Nice Classification for the protection of tyres (Registration 870708, January 30 2007).

In September 2006 the Cypriot registrar notified the World Intellectual Property Organization of a provisional refusal based on absolute grounds under Sections 11(1)(b) and (c) of the Trademarks Law, which refer to trademarks that (i) lack distinctive character (Section 11(1)(b)); and (ii) consist exclusively of signs or indications which may be utilized in trade to indicate the kind, quality, destination, value, geographic origin or the time of production of the goods or the rendering of the service, or other characteristics of the goods or service (Section 11(1)(c)).

Within the three-month time limit, a request for a hearing was presented by HZR. At the hearing, HZR put forward arguments under Section 11(2) of the Trademarks Law, which allows the registration of trademarks that would fall foul of the restrictions in Sections 11(1)(b) and (c) if, prior to the application, the trademark has become distinctive through use.

HZR produced evidence of extensive use of the trademark GOODRIDE in Cyprus through importation of the tyres into that country by the official representative for the products in Cyprus since 2003. HZR also provided evidence of prior trademark registrations in Australia, Denmark, Hungary, Ireland and the United States. Further, the trademark was being used at the domain name ''.

The registrar, after examining the evidence, allowed the publication of the application.

Tonia Antoniou, Michael Kyprianou & Co, Nicosia

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