Revocation of the Only Israeli Appellation of Origin, for 'JAFFA'

Author:Mr Tal Band
Profession:S Horowitz & Co
I. Summary

In a decision handed down by the Israeli Registrar of Trade Marks, dated January 9, 2005, it was held that the Israel Appellation of Origin for "JAFFA" (including "Jaffas" and also "Yafo", "Jaffa" and "Jaffas" in Hebrew) ("the JAFFA AO") will not be renewed. Thus, subject to an appeal, the registration of the JAFFA AO will be revoked.

II. Background

Israel is a member of the "Lisbon Agreement for the Protection of Appellations of Origin and their International Registration" which came into effect on October 31, 1958. Pursuant to the Lisbon Agreement and in order to implement its provisions into the pertinent Israeli legislation, the Israel Appellations of Origin and Geographical Indications Law, 1965 ("AOGI Law") was enacted. The AOGI Law has since been amended to include, inter alia, geographical indications and other amendments so as to comply with the TRIPS Agreement.

Briefly, an appellation of origin refers to the geographical name of a country, region or locality contained in the name of a product and intended to convey that such product originates in such country, region or locality and that its quality or properties are mainly due to that geographical area, including its nature and people.

The JAFFA AO, which is known and recognised by the consumer public, both in Israel and worldwide, as relating to Israeli citrus fruit products is currently the only Israeli appellation of origin registered with WIPO. Registration of the JAFFA AO has been in effect in Israel since December 7, 1966. The proprietor of the JAFFA AO is the Israel Citrus Marketing Board ("the CMB").

Under the AOGI Law, an Israeli appellation of origin is protected for an initial term of ten years from the date of filing the application therefor and may be extended for additional periods of ten years each, without limitation, if the Registrar finds it is still being used as an appellation of origin. In the case at hand, following an application by the CMB to renew the JAFFA AO for an additional period of ten years, the Israeli Trade Marks Office initiated the procedure provided under the Israeli law to re-examine whether the JAFFA AO is still being used as an appellation of origin. The undersigned (Adv. Tal Band), was involved in the examination procedure and supported the position of the Israeli Trade Marks Office that the JAFFA AO should not be renewed.

III. The Decision of the Registrar of Trade Marks

The decision of the Registrar refusing the renewal of the JAFFA AO...

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