Refusal of trademark cancellation correct, rules Supreme Court's Senate
In Tria Robit Agency v Jason (SKC-697 2002), the Senate of the Supreme Court of Latvia has upheld a Supreme Court ruling rejecting the plaintiff's action to cancel the defendant's mark AAA BALTIC SERVICE COMPANY for non-use. The senate held that the Supreme Court had not erred in holding that the mark had been used in Latvia.
Tria Robit Agency, an intellectual property law firm based in Latvia, owns a number of Latvian registered trademarks featuring the letters 'AAA' for intellectual property services. Marius Jakulis Jason owns both AAA Baltic Service Company - a law firm specializing in intellectual property - and the Latvian registered mark AAA BALTIC SERVICE COMPANY for intellectual property services.
Tria Robit brought an action to cancel Jason's mark on the grounds that neither Jason nor his firm have offices in Latvia and he had therefore not actually used the mark for intellectual property services in Latvia. The District Court of Riga agreed and cancelled Jason's mark. Jason then appealed to the Supreme Court.
The Supreme Court allowed the appeal and rejected the cancellation action. The court held that although Jason does not have offices in Latvia:
- his trademark is registered in Latvia;
- the mark has been advertised in Latvian publications aimed at the relevant public; and
- Jason has performed intellectual property services for a number of Latvian companies (including two large patent agencies).
The Supreme Court noted that the Latvian Law on Value Added Tax states that the address of the recipient of a service is considered to be the legal location in which the service took place. Therefore, it ruled that when Jason performed intellectual property services for Latvian clients those services had been performed in Latvia.
Tria Robit appealed to the Senate of the Supreme Court of Latvia, arguing that the Supreme Court erred in holding that the mark had been used in Latvia. However, the senate dismissed the appeal and upheld the Supreme Court's ruling.
Otilija Klimaitiene and Marius J Jason, AAA Legal Services, Vilnius
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