Syngenta Opposes Coffee Trademark Application

Syngenta Participations AG (Syngenta), a Swiss company, filed a notice of opposition to a NewCoffee GmbH & Co. oHG (NewCoffee) trademark registration application on Monday. Syngenta argued that NewCoffee’s application to register the trademark “NEW COFFEE,” will damage its existing “NUCOFFEE” mark.

Syngenta’s U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) opposition contended that Germany-based NewCoffee filed the application in question on Oct. 23, 2019. The intended “NEW COFFEE” mark registration states that it intends to cover coffee and coffee-related goods, including coffee beans, coffee sold in bags, coffee-filled capsules, mixtures of coffee and milk, ground coffee, affogatos, bakery goods, and pastries.

Syngenta self-described as “a leading global agriculture company that helps improve global food security be enabling millions of farmers to make better use of available resources.” Since at least Dec. 31, 2007, the notice claimed, Syngenta has provided goods in connection with its NUCOFFEE mark, which the filing pointed out, is “pronounced ‘New Coffee.’” Through substantial use and promotional efforts, Syngenta argued, it has acquired “significant goodwill and consumer recognition” of its NUCOFFEE mark, which has multiple trademark registrations.

The filing noted that Syngenta currently has another “NUCOFFEE” trademark registration pending to cover “coffee, unroasted coffee, and a plethora of services associated therewith,” but that the application has stalled. The notice explained that Syngenta’s pending application has been suspended by the inquiring PTO examiner on the basis that NewCoffee’s proposed mark and its proposed mark are “confusingly similar.” This, Syngenta alleged, has caused it to be improperly blocked by NewCoffee, who is the junior trademark user.

Additionally, Syngenta claimed that its and NewCoffee’s proposed mark are “highly similar in sight, sound, meaning and commercial impression,” the two parties goods are “highly related,” and their “consumers and trademark channels are identical or overlapping…”

Thus, it averred, the registration of NewCoffee’s mark “will result in confusion by third parties.” Syngenta requests that its opposition be sustained and that NewCoffee’s application “be rejected and stricken.”

The Watson IP Group, PLC represents Syngenta in this matter.