Owens Corning succeeds in opposing trade name


US company Owens Corning has won a case before the Administrative Litigation Court in which it opposed the registration of the trade name Fiberglass Industrial y Comercial Ltda based on the argument that it is the registered owner of the FIBERGLASS trademark in Ecuador.

In the 1990s an Ecuadorian company filed an application to register Fiberglass Industrial y Comercial Ltda as a trade name. Owens Corning filed an opposition, arguing that registration of the trade name would infringe its rights in the registered trademark FIBERGLASS.

Fiberglass Industrial argued that Owens Corning's trademark applies to goods. As such, it could not be used to stop the registration of a name that applies to a commercial establishment.

The Trademark Office agreed with Fiberglass Industrial and rejected Owens Corning's opposition. Owens Corning appealed, but the director of industrial property affirmed the Trademark Office's ruling.

On appeal again, this time to the Administrative Litigation Court of Ecuador, the US company won. The court held that pursuant to Andean Community law, the trademark FIBERGLASS would be infringed by the registration of a trade name incorporating the word 'fiberglass' in the same way that it would be infringed if another trademark were registered incorporating the word 'fiberglass'. There would be a likelihood of confusion in either situation.

Enrique Chiriboga, Bustamante & Bustamante, Quito

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