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Exporting Revolution?

Bali and Singapore Companies in Court Fighting Over the Rights to Use 'Ku De Ta' Trademark

(6/4/2011) Business Times in Singapore says a popular Bali seaside restaurant will soon have its day in court in Singapore in a trademark dispute over who's legally entitled to use the trade name Ku De Ta.

At stake is the right of the nightclub at the Marina Bay Sands hotel to use the brand first pioneered by the well-known Legian beac- side restaurant and bar in Bali.

Efforts by the Marina Bay Sands to have the trademark case dismissed by the Singapore High Court failed when the Court's Registrar ruled the lawsuit brought by the Bali-based Ku De Ta had sufficient legal merit to proceed.

The owners of the Ku De Ta operation who include Australians Guy Neale, Aki Kotzamichalis and Arthur Chondros; together with Indonesian businessman Made Wiranatha and the White Horse Trading Co., are asking the Singapore Courts to order the abandonmnet of the use of their Ku De Ta trademark at their Singapore establishment and on the wbesite www.kudeta.com.sg. The Bali group is also seeking a share of any profits earned by the Singapore nightspot during the period that they alleged their trademark has been illegally appropriated.

The suit contends that Nine Squares - a company originally founded by Chondros, has, "without consent or authorization" registered two trademarks in Singapore in 2004 and 2009 that included the Ku De Ta branding and then licensed the mark to a Hong Kong businessman who is using them at the Marina Bay Sands.

Arguments by the Hong Kong businessman that the Ku De Ta is a registered trademark in Singapore and is Chondros' to use outside of Indonesia were rejected by the Singapore Court who said the Indonesian interests  had the right to seek prohibition of the use of a conflicting mark if that mark is a registered trade mark. On this basis, the Indonesian group was declared to have a valid cause of action against the Singapore night club.

The Singapore registrar also cleared the way for the Indonesian claimant to seek injunctive relief against Nine Squares' continuing use of the name in order to protect the goodwill associated with the trademark from any potential damage.