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Colombia’s coffee growers win European legal battles over brand names

Colombia´s federation of coffee growers [FEDECAFE] announces victory in two international legal battles over brand naming rights, reported local media Thursday.

The first ruling centered on the use of the brand “The garden of Juan Valdes” by a Spain-based business dedicated to the selling of cannabis seeds and books on how to grow it.

The Community Trade Mark Court of the European Union nullified the use of the brand on the basis that “Juan Valdez” was a preexisting commercial brand name of FEDECAFE.

The court ordered the Spanish company to pass control of the Internet domain name over to FEDECAFE.

The site has since changed its URL, but FEDCAFE’s lawyers were notified of the company’s intention to appeal the ruling, which would annul the brand.

The second case was related to the use of the name “Huila,” a department in Colombia’s central coffee region.

The European Union´s Trade Mark and Designs Office ruled in favor of FEDCAFE, annulling the registration and use of the name by a third-party based in Spain which claimed to have exclusive rights to the name throughout the European Union.

“Thanks to the collective savings of the coffee growers of Colombia, they have a powerful network of protection and defense of its portfolio of brands, which, given the reputation and recognition of quality in several markets, is constantly subject to theft, plagarism or misuse. It forces us to be permanently vigilant and respond fearlessly, in a timely fashion with the appropriate legal and administrative action in each jurisdiction.,” said Luis Genaro Muñoz, director of FEDECAFE.

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