Trademark Battle: TWG Tea Company Pte Ltd vs. Mariage Frères, Société Anonyme

23-05-10 ...

CASABLANCA!

BackgroundMoroccan Tea

Moroccan mint tea is a local trademark, a traditional drink served multiple times a day and considered an ever-flowing staple. In this case, two high-end tea brands are fighting over the use of "Casablanca" on tea products. While Casablanca is a refined city, it's not necessarily associated with high-end tea; instead, it's more known for its authentic, locally-made mint tea.

Trademark Opposition:

Mariage Frères opposed TWG's trademark application, citing similarity with their prior registered mark "Casablanca" and claiming prior use and notoriety since 1984. They provided evidence of consistent and regular use of the trademark on their tea products over the years.

TWG Tea Company Pte Ltd        Mariage Frères, Société Anonyme

TWG Response to Trademark Opposition:

TWG argued that their mark "A Weekend in Casablanca Tea" has also been in continuous use since 2009 and that their brand is also famous, particularly in local markets where they operate stores.

Decision:The UK Intellectual Property Office (IPO)

The UK Intellectual Property Office (IPO) ruled in favor of both parties to some extent. The IPO accepted Mariage Frères' opposition on tea-related products in Class 30, preventing TWG's mark from proceeding to registration for those specific goods. However, the IPO allowed the registration of TWG's mark for the remaining goods designated in Class 30.

Conclusion

While "Casablanca" may not inherently connote high-end tea, both companies attempted to establish a connection between their tea products and the city, perhaps to evoke a sense of luxury or exoticism in their branding.

 

 

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