LIMONCHELO marks allowed to coexist


In Ingenio Riopaila SA v Canton y Reyes Ltda (Resolution 24365, September 29 2004), the Colombian Trademark Office (TO) has issued a resolution allowing two marks featuring the name Limonchelo to coexist.

Canton y Reyes Ltda filed an application to register LIMONCHELO BY STRAUS as a trademark for alcoholic beverages. Ingenio Riopaila SA opposed the application on the basis of its prior mark LIMONCHELO RIOPAILA. The TO upheld the opposition. It held that the marks could not coexist considering that both were intended to distinguish an identical product and, thus, the risk of association by consumers was high. Canton y Reyes appealed.

On reconsideration, the TO revoked its decision. It held that 'Limonchelo' is a generic term for a beverage made from lemon, alcohol, sugar and water, and, consequently, the criteria to establish the likelihood of confusion between the two signs should be different from those used for other marks. The TO concluded that no one party should have exclusive rights in the Limonchelo name and thus, LIMONCHELO BY STRAUS and LIMONCHELO RIOPAILA were allowed to coexist.

Luz Helena Adarve-Gomez, Cárdenas & Cárdenas, Bogota

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