Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Russian IP Court to Consider Ruling Denying Trademark Protection to Ford Motor Company

On September 30, Russia's new IP Court will review Rospatent's refusal to grant trademark protection for the well-known Ford Motor Company mark, a blue oval with the scripted name Ford inside. Among other reasons that Rospatent gave for refusing to recognize the mark was Ford's failure to establish that the mark had been consistently used in exactly the same form as represented in the application, noting evidence showed that Ford used different verbal labeling at different times, in different vehicles.  Ford, whose headquarters are in Dearborn, Michigan, remains one of the 20 largest corporations in the US.

Moscow City Court Blocks Pirated Copies of Game of Thrones

Under an anti-piracy law that took effect in Russia on August 1, 2013, the Moscow City Court has blocked 15 sites that distribute the pirated versions of the popular western series including Game of Thrones, Boardwalk Empire and American Horror Story. The ruling was made in favor of A. Serial, the company that holds the exclusive distribution rights to Game of Thrones, and found that the series was distributed on various websites (including,,,,,,,,,,,,,, and without A. Serial's permission.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Pussy Riot Wants a €250K Payout From Russia

Pussy Riot members Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alyokhina are seeking damages in the amount of 250,000 euros ($336,000) in their case against Russia before the European Court of Human Rights, Vedomosti reported Monday. The women are seeking 120,000 euros in moral damages each, and an additional 10,000 euros between the two to cover legal fees, according to the report. Tolokonnikova and Alyohkina were hit with two-year prison terms in August 2012 for their "punk prayer" performance in Moscow's Christ the Savior Cathedral earlier that year. They were sentenced alongside a third member of the group, Yekaterina Samutsevich, who was released last October after a court transferred her prison term to a suspended sentence. Alyokhina and Tolokonnikova were granted amnesty and released in December.

Hague Court Orders Russia to Pay $50 Billion in Yukos Case

The Hague's arbitration court ruled on Monday that Russia must pay a group of shareholders in oil giant Yukos $50.02 billion for expropriating its assets, a big hit for a country teetering on the brink of recession. The arbitration panel in the Netherlands said it had awarded shareholders in the GML group just under half of their $114 billion claim, going some way to covering the money they lost when the Kremlin seized Yukos, once controlled by Mikhail Khodorkovsky, a decade ago. "The award is a slam dunk. It is for $50 billion, and that cannot be disputed," said Tim Osborne, director of GML. "It's now a question of enforcing it." Russia's Finance Ministry called the ruling "flawed", "one-sided" and "politically biased" and said it would appeal the decision. It comes as Russia and the West are in their biggest stand-off since the Cold War over Moscow's actions in Ukraine.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

FAS Proposes That Monopolists Pay Damages To Consumers

At a recent expert discussion on of implementation of the FAS Action Plan for “Developing Competition Improving the Antimonopoly Policy” Head of the Legal Department of the FAS, Sergey Puzyrevskiy, proposed that if a monopolist caused damage, it should be liable to consumers. Representatives of the Ministry of Justice, “Skolkovo” Fund, Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs, “Business Russia”, members of Non-Profit Partnership for Developing Competition and Corporate Counsels Association, practicing lawyers, etc., took part in discussion.  According to Puzyrevskiy, “[FAS] are proposing an alternative method to compensate damages to consumers injured by violations of the antimonopoly law that can be in the form of compensation from 1 - 15 % of the value of the purchased goods.” Concluding the meeting, Puzyrevskiy emphasized the importance of discussing the draft Law at the Analytical Centre at the Government of the Russian Federation and asked participants to formulate their proposals and forward them to FAS Russia.

Russian IP Court Upholds Alibaba Trademark Against Cybersquatter

The Russian IP court ruled against cybersquatter Holmrook Limited, a company with Russian ties, incorporated in the British Virgin Islands.  Chinese internet giant, Alibaba Group, challenged Holmrook's use of the Alibaba trademark in Holmrook's domain registration for  The court's decision comes on the heels of a May decision stopping any legal protection for Holmrook's use of the "alibaba" trademark in connection with printed publications and bank cards.  Holmrook has previously lost several disputes related to the use of foreign trademarks in domain names, including those involving Swiss watch makers Longines and Tissot.  Alibaba Group remains on track to become the second largest internet company in the world, after Google, with the announcement of an initial public offering on the United States stock exchange expected to reach approximately $200 in market capitalization.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Ousted Kyrgyz President Bakiev Sentenced To Life

Former Kyrgyz President Kurmanbek Bakiev has been sentenced to life in prison in absentia for involvement in the 2010 killing of protesters during the uprising that ousted him. The Bishkek Military Court also sentenced Bakiev's brother, Janysh Bakiev, who was the head of the presidential guard, and former Prime Minister Daniyar Usenov to life in prison in absentia on July 25. Another 25 defendants in the case, including several of Bakiev's relatives and associates, were sentenced to prison terms ranging between six and 25 years. The defendants were found guilty of either having fired upon or given the command to open fire on protesters in Bishkek during antigovernment protests in April 2010 that led to Bakiev's ouster. Nearly 100 people were killed and some 400 wounded in the clashes in central Bishkek. The trial started in 2011. Bakiev is living in Belarus with several family members.

Russia Jails Two Opposition Activists

A Russian court on Thursday jailed a radical opposition leader Sergei Udaltsov to four and a half years for organising "mass riots" ahead of Vladimir Putin's inauguration as president in 2012. Judge Alexander Zamashnyuk sentenced both Udaltsov and his political ally Leonid Razvozzhayev to four and a half years in a corrective labour camp for organising a rally against Putin and plotting further unrest. The judge said the men had organised "mass riots accompanied by violence against the authorities and damage to property." Udaltsov, the shaven leader of a banned radical leftist group, rose to prominence as part of the protest movement against Putin's return to the Kremlin for a third term. He responded to the verdict by declaring a hunger strike, his lawyer said after the verdict.

Ukraine's Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk Resigns

Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk announced his resignation Thursday, opening the way for new elections that would reflect the country's starkly changed political scene after the ouster of pro-Russian President Viktor Yanukovych in February. Yatsenyuk, a supporter of closer ties with Europe and a key participant in the protests that toppled Yanukovych, made the announcement from the dais of Parliament after two parties said they would pull out of the governing coalition. He said Parliament could no longer do its work and pass necessary laws. President Petro Poroshenko, elected to replace Yanukovych May 25, earlier praised the withdrawal of the two parties. He said that "all opinion polls, and direct conversations with people, show that society wants a complete rebooting of the government." Poroshenko's calls for political renewal suggests the resignation and new elections are the result of planning and political maneuvering, not chaos.