The Emergence of a Brand: A Case of Jaffa Oranges from Mandate Palestine

The Emergence of a Brand: A Case of Jaffa Oranges from Mandate Palestine, Research Handbook on the History of Trademark Law (Lionel Bently & Robert Bone, eds., Edward Elgar) (2023, Forthcoming)

29 Pages Posted: 22 Sep 2021 Last revised: 7 Aug 2023

See all articles by Michael Birnhack

Michael Birnhack

Tel Aviv University - Buchmann Faculty of Law

Date Written: August 18, 2021

Abstract

The Shamouti oranges grown along the Mediterranean coast of Palestine under the British Mandate (1922-1948) sparkled in European markets in the 1920s and 1930s. The oranges were known as “Jaffa Oranges”, or “Jaffas”, and gained economic importance during the Mandate. Today, the Jaffa Oranges brand is contested and has opposite national meanings for Israelis and Palestinians. This chapter explores the emergence of the brand, when Jews and Arabs worked alongside each other and on occasion together, albeit with growing national tensions.

The brand emerged in a multi-layered industry, with different kinds of competition in each of its segments: growers, traders and exporters, and foreign markets, and in a triangular legal setting. The law did not protect geographical indications, leaving the words “JAFFA ORANGES” free to all to use. The law did offer protection for distinctive trade marks. During the British Mandate, 102 trade marks for oranges were registered, by both Jewish and Arab growers and traders. Two-thirds of which used the geographical brand. Finally, a regulatory scheme established to assure the quality of the citrus exports, acted as a de facto certification, and resulted in numerous unregistered marks, known as markas.

This chapter offers a legal-historical analysis of the JAFFA ORANGES brand, by examining archival material and data from a reconstructed trade mark registry of the period, along a legal inquiry, contextualized within the economic and national situation.

Keywords: Trademark history, Intellectual Property history, Mandate Palestine, brands, Appellation of Origin, Geographical Indications, Jaffa Oranges, Citrus

Suggested Citation

Birnhack, Michael D., The Emergence of a Brand: A Case of Jaffa Oranges from Mandate Palestine (August 18, 2021). The Emergence of a Brand: A Case of Jaffa Oranges from Mandate Palestine, Research Handbook on the History of Trademark Law (Lionel Bently & Robert Bone, eds., Edward Elgar) (2023, Forthcoming), Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3907074 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3907074

Michael D. Birnhack (Contact Author)

Tel Aviv University - Buchmann Faculty of Law ( email )

Ramat Aviv
Tel Aviv, 69978
Israel
+972-3-640-6623 (Phone)

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