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Sunday, June 24, 2012

Kopitiam trademark dispute goes to court

Here is an earlier post about how a local businessman who is well known for aggressive trademark practices is seeking to monopolize a potentially generic term Kopitiam, the Peranakan (Straits) Chinese name for Chinese coffee shops.

As expected, the Kopitiam Association of Indonesia has filed for cancellation of 3 of the 22 brands including the word Kopitiam filed at the IPO by Abdul Soelistio. The balance are presumably 19 unused marks in different classes unrelated to coffee shops (his usual registration strategy). Some of the 3 include logos. "'Kopitiam' does not exist as a brand at all," said the plaintiff's attorney Yan Apul, last week.  In addition, the word 'Kopi' and 'Tiam' is considered public property or generic, he indicated. Kopi means coffee and Tiam means stall.

IP Komodo expects a difficult fight, as Abdul has a number of his own coffee shops and has been asserting his mark. He even has a Supreme Court decision against a shop in Medan on his side. However the association  also represents many kopitiam shop owners so cannot afford to lose.

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