KARACHI, July 31: The Sindh High Court on Monday issued notices in an appeal moved by Gallup Pakistan and stayed registration proceedings of ‘Gallup’ trademark in the country on the application of Gallup USA.

Gallup Pakistan was set up as a public opinion polling institute by Dr Ijaz Gilani in 1979. Initially an associate member of the Switzerland-based Gallup International, it became an affiliate or full member in 1984 and was incorporated as a private company in Pakistan in 1987. It conducted opinion polls and surveys independently and in collaboration with other organizations.

The company applied for formal registration of trademark ‘Gallup’ for use in Pakistan earlier this year under the Trademarks Ordinance, 2001. It said it had been using the name and nomenclature for a long time and was also registered in Pakistan as a body corporate with the title. It was a full member of Gallup International, which alone had authority to grant affiliation.

The trademarks registrar invited objections and Gallup International consented to the application. Gallup USA, which was a member of Gallup International till 1992, however, entered a caveat, saying Gallup was an American company registered by George Gallup, a US citizen, in America in early 1930s. The US company said it had affiliates or subsidiaries in about 20 countries and had acquired a worldwide reputation as an opinion surveyor. The trademark was exclusively owned by it and it alone or any institute or organization authorized by it could seek registration of the trademark. It sought registration for itself.

The trademark registrar rejected the application of Gallup Pakistan and ordered that proceedings be taken on the application moved by Gallup USA. Gallup Pakistan filed an appeal against the rejection of its application through Advocate Ijaz Ahmed and sought an interim injunction to restrain the trademarks registrar from proceeding on the application of Gallup USA.

Issuing notices to the respondents for Aug 8, Justice Yasmeen Abbasy stayed the registration proceedings in the meantime after a preliminary hearing of the arguments advanced by the appellant’s counsel.

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