Syngenta Seeks to Protect Actara Mark in Opposition of UPL Corporation’s Aratka Request

Last week, Syngenta Participations AG filed an opposition to UPL Corporation Ltd.’s request for a trademark for Aratka, citing its trademark for Actara in the same class — Class 005 — which includes herbicides and pesticides, citing a likelihood of confusion between the two trademarks.

Syngenta, a Switzerland agriculture company, cited that it applied for the Actara trademark before the United States Trademark Trial and Appeal Board in 1997 and first used the trademark in commerce in April 1998. The company said it has consistently used its Actara trademark for more than 22 years to cover its pesticide which, according to the company’s website, kills “sucking and chewing pests” within 24 hours.

Syngenta argued that in addition to its trademark, it has “extensive common law rights” to the trademark because of its consistent and longstanding use. Comparatively, UPL, an Indian agrochemical company, applied for its Aratka trademark application in early March.

In its opposition, Syngenta claimed that as a “leading global agriculture company” with a “strong and well-known” trademark, the company has acquired goodwill and recognition through use and promotion of items with its Actara mark. The company asserted that its opposition is an effort in protecting its investment in the trademark.

To support its allegations, Syngenta claimed that its trademark currently is “incontestable” under Section 15 of the Trademark Act and that the registration attached to the opposition shows sufficient evidence that it has a valid trademark. Further, Syngenta alleged that the applicant “knew or should have known of Opposer’s ownership, use and registration of the ACTARA mark prior to the filing date of the Application.”

Thursday’s opposition claimed that the two trademarks are “highly similar in sight, sound, meaning, and commercial impression” and are designed for identical or overlapping goods. Because of this, Syngenta claimed that registration of the mark would cause confusion to third parties and would harm Syngenta.

Syngenta filed a similar opposition last week relating to Bladerunner Farms Inc.’s application for a trademarked logo with the phrase “Primo Zoysia.”

Syngenta is represented by The Watson IP Group PLC.