Federacafé opposed to Mild Coffee Company Huila
Mild Coffee Huila Company SAS applied at the local PTO for the registration of the trademark ‘Mild Coffee Company Huila’ for tea, cocoa, sugar, rice, tapioca and coffee derivatives, among others.
The National Federation of Coffee Growers of Colombia (Federacafé) filed an opposition based on the fact that the sign lacked distinctiveness and it was descriptive. It is important to highlight that the Directorate of Distinctive Signs agreed with that. However, the decision was reversed on appeal and the trademark in question was registered.
According to Art 135 Decision 486 (the Andean Community common intellectual property regime), signs may not be registered as when they are lacking the necessary distinguishable characteristics and “e) consist solely of a sign or statement that may serve in commerce to designate or describe, in respect of the goods or services for which they are to be used, their quality, quantity, purpose, value, geographical origin, or time of production, or that impart other details, characteristics, or information, including expressions of praise for those goods or services;” (..).