Cyprus may have definitively lost the trademark for halloumi cheese in the UK, after a British court has refused to consider a last-ditch appeal filed by Cypriot authorities.
According to daily Phileleftheros, on January 22 the UK’s High Court of Justice Business and Property Courts (Chancery Division) deemed inadmissible an appeal filed by the Cypriot government which was trying to reverse a previous ruling.
The litigants were informed of the decision last Friday, the paper said.
On December 19 the ministry of commerce had filed an appeal against the court’s November 28 decision, which ruled against an objection by Cyprus against the cancellation of its halloumi trademark in the UK.
The trademark had earlier been revoked by the UK’s Intellectual Property Office (Ukipo).
Cyprus had applied to register the trademark on December 22, 1990 and it was registered on February 22, 2002 as “Cheese made from sheep’s and/or goat’s milk; cheese made from blends of cow’s milk.”
On December 22, 2017 a British-based company, John & Pascalis Ltd, filed three separate applications to invalidate or revoke the trademark.
The subsequent loss of the trademark was due to the government’s failure to mount a challenge and dispatch the necessary paperwork within the set deadline. A disciplinary probe is underway within the commerce ministry to determine whether officials were derelict in their duties.
Following the latest development in the UK court, the government’s last option is filing for a new trademark for halloumi with Ukipo.
Commenting on Monday, Akel MP Andros Kafkalias, chair of the House agriculture committee, criticised the government for “fouling up.”
“We risk not only being unable to register halloumi as a Protected Designation of Origin product but also, following the loss of the trademark in Great Britain, losing the trademark even in Cyprus. What a predicament!”