The commerce ministry said on Wednesday it has launched a probe into the reasons why one of its departments had delayed defending a legal suit in the UK, which resulted in a private company registering halloumi as a trademark in that country.

In a statement issued on Wednesday, after daily Politis reported that the company, John and Pascalis Ltd, had succeeded in registering halloumi in the UK, the ministry said it was looking into the reasons why the responsible service had failed to respond in a timely manner.

A British court ruling dated November 28 and seen by the Cyprus Mail on Wednesday reveals that the court case was lost due to the inaction of the department, which failed to send the necessary documents to the UK in time for them to be examined by the court.

If they had done so, they could have prevented the approval of the application.

The ministry on Wednesday said it was currently handling 79 similar cases in Cyprus and overseas after already having handled 64 others.

The statement said the probe was almost complete after which its findings will be handed over to the attorney-general.

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