'Nachos': An Expression Incorporated To The Argentine Language

Author:Ms Iris Quadrio and María Luisa Santa María
Profession:Marval O'Farrell & Mairal

Division 2 of the National Court of Appeals on Federal Civil and Commercial Matters reversed the lower court's decision that had ordered Pepsico de Argentina to stop using trademark "NACHOS!" and admitted defendant's counterclaim requesting that said registration be cancelled.

Pepsico de Argentina used the expression "DORITOS NACHOS" to identify its seasoned corn tortilla chips. Cerealko S.A., owner of the trademark "NACHOS!" in International class 30, filed a lawsuit against Pepsico de Argentina seeking to enjoin such use. The appellate court stated that an expression may be considered as the usual designation of a product or service when it is so used in the ordinary language of the country's inhabitants, regardless of the criteria of Spanish language institutions and of its inclusion in language dictionaries. In this particular case, the word "NACHOS", originated in Mexico, had a specific meaning in Argentina that referred to "small triangular toasts made...

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