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OMA, well-known trademark
When Melquiceded Muñoz applied for the trademark registration of Cafe Soma to designate products from class 30 of the Nice International Classification (coffee, tea, cocoa and artificial coffee, among others), Restcafé filed an opposition proceeding to protect its already registered trademark OMA, which designates services from class 43 of the Nice International Classification (providing food and drink and temporary accomodation).
On July, a Superintendence of Industry and Commerce (SIC) ruling acknowledged OMA as a well-known trademark, therefore denying the registration of Cafe Soma as a trademark.
Well-known marks are usually protected, irrespective of whether they are registered or not, in respect of goods and services which are identical with, or similar to, those for which they have gained their reputation.
According to Carolina Vera, partner of Vera Abogados Asociados, the law firm that represented OMA, the applied trademark Cafe Soma lacked distinctiveness, was confusingly similar to OMA and had a clear intention to benefit from its notoriety and status.
"By just incoporating an additional letter Cafe Soma tried to fully imitated the trademark OMA, which has sufficiently established itself as a well-known trademark after acquiring status over time through a broad recognition by consumers, expansion and promotion on different markets and frequent use in society”, said Vera.
OMA was born in 1970 as the first gourmet coffee shop of Bogota. Nowadays the company has opened new shops all-around Colombia and begun sell and production of artisanal ice cream in addition to its traditional roasted and ground coffee products.