On 28 August 2015 the Board of Appeals of the Patent Office of the Republic of Latvia has heard the opposition, which on 23 September, 2015 was filed by Mr. Bronislavs Baltrumovics, Trademark Attorney & Senior Lawyer of Agency TRIA ROBIT on behalf of Latvian undertaking ALDARIS, AS, against the trademark “SAMTAINAIS”, reg. Nr. M68678, registered by Latvian undertaking CESU ALUS, AS.
The opposition was based on the fact that the challenged trademark SAMTAINAIS in respect of beer does not provide the ability to distinguish the goods of one manufacturer of similar products from another manufacturer, due to the fact that the designation SAMTAINAIS lacks of distinctiveness, and it is used to refer to a sort of beer and its properties.
After the examination of the case materials, the Board of Appeals found that the challenged trademark SAMTAINAIS (in English – velvet) is adjective with definite word ending (note – Grammar construction in Latvian language). In the Latvian literary language dictionary is stated that this word can be used in many cases to describe different things, including beer properties, namely its flavor. Entrepreneurs in Latvia, as well as in other countries, use the designation “samtainais” (velvet) and its analogues to describe the flavor of beer. The former State Committee of the USSR on a howling time issued a standard ГОСТ 3473-78 «ПИВО. Общие технические условия» ( in English – “BEER. General technical conditions”), which shows the requirements for the flavor and aroma of beer. Among others, there is included the designation “samtainais” (velvet), in respect of which stipulates that he must be sweet and malt scented. It can be concluded that this designation has long been used in the beer industry. Additionally, the owner of the challenged mark CESU ALUS uses the designation “samtainais” (velvet) in publications and on the bottles not as a trademark, but as a secondary element to the designation of “BRŪŽA”, or to describe the taste of beer. In this regard, there are reasonable grounds to believe that Latvian consumers do not perceive the designation SAMTAINAIS (velvet) as a trademark.
In accordance with above-mentioned, the Board of Appeals decided to satisfy filed opposition in full and to invalidated the registration of the trademark “SAMTAINAIS”, reg. Nr. M68678.