Trademark application “Gandhi rice” in cl. 30 opposed by Indian lawyer.
In March 2010 an Ecuadorian private individual filed a trademark application for the Spanish term “ARROZ GANDHI” (or “Gandhi rice” in English) and a label in cl. 30 to distinguish specific types of rice with the PTO of Ecuador.
Early this year, the application was opposed by the Indian lawyer Sh. Lalit Bhasin who, among other claims, asserted that the eventual registration would hurt the sentiment of the Indian people given the status of Father of the Nation attributed by that country and its people to Mahatma Gandhi.
It was also mentioned that, according to legislation of India, the name and image of Mahatma Gandhi cannot be used as a mark or design and therefore the applications should be refused based on IP regulation preventing the registration of international public symbols, emblems and the like enacted locally in Ecuador, regionally in the Andean Community and internationally in the Paris Convention.
The opposition was not answered by the applicant within the deadline to do so and the file is already pending of resolution at the Ecuadorian PTO, which should issue its decision on such sensitive matter in the comings months.
Overall, our colleagues in Ecuador believe that neither the opposition nor the applications will succeed so, finally, the marks will not be granted.
Sources: Maria Cecilia Romoleroux (Corral & Rosales)