Local PTO protects DO and rejects trademark application
Through Resolution No. 101961 of 2015, the Colombian PTO has protected the designation of origin (DO) “CAFÉ DE HUILA” (COFFEE HUILA), and has rejected the trademark application “CAFÉ RIO SUAZA” (COFFEE RIO SUAZA) claimed by Oliver Torres Marques to identify coffee-related products included in Class 30 of the Nice International Classification.
By means of Resolution 17989 of April 2013, the local PTO protected the DO “CAFÉ DE HUILA” (COFFEE HUILA), which distinguishes “Coffee” in Class 30 of the Nice International Classification. A defined geographical area and the height range between 1000-2200 meters above sea level was also established. That area includes certain municipalities and towns that are part of the region of Huila.
The Colombian PTO considered that due to the fact that the trademark application “CAFÉ RIO SUAZA” (COFFEE RIO SUAZA) contains the word “SUAZA,” the DO COFFEE HUILA was suggested. Suaza is a municipality in the region of Huila, which is part of the protected DO by geographic area. The consumer may be confused by both trademarks because they have a similar geographic origin.
For these reasons, the Colombian PTO decided to deny the trademark application filed by Mr. Torres Marques, preventing the registration of Cafe Rio SUAZA (COFFEE RIO SUAZA), from taking advantage of the reputation and prestige of the DO “CAFÉ DE HUILA” (COFFEE HUILA).
It is worth mentioning that up to date, the Colombian PTO has granted DO protection to 22 products of Colombian origin, five of which are related to coffee: “Café de Colombia”, “Café de Nariño”, “Café de Cauca”, ”Café de Huila” and “ Café de Santander.”