Monday, September 12, 2011

Moscow Court Finds Illegal “Volodya i Medvedi” Trademark Rejection

A court in Moscow found illegal the refusal by Rospatent (Russian patent and trademark registration agency) to register the vodka trademark “Volodya i Medvedi”. A company named “Royalty” filed an application for the “Volodya i Medvedi” (Volodya and Bears) trademark in 2009, but Rospatent rejected it, and its Patent Dispute Chamber affirmed the rejection. Rospatent suggested that the trademark refers to Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and President Dmitry Medvedev, and found that such usage of their names “infringes upon the image and the interests of the state, and is contrary to public policy.” The company argued that the usage of “one of most popular Russian names ‘Volodya’ and fairy tale characters (bears) cannot be detrimental to the society and the state.” The court apparently agreed with the company. Meanwhile alcoholic beverage company “Vinexim,” holder of the trademark “Putinka,” has registered the trademark “Volodya i Medvedi” in Ukraine and currently sells the vodka in Russia, too. However, “Vinexim” has stated the “Royalty” company (the applicant) does not represent “Vinexim.”

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