Category Archives: Russian Patent and Trademark Office

Russian Patent Attorneys

A Federal Chamber of Patent Attorneys to appear in Russia

The current law on Russian patent attorneys is to be amended for the first time since its adoption in 2008. Today, there are 1806 patent attorneys in Russia, which provide legal services in the field of intellectual property law. At the same time in Germany there are twice as many such specialists.

“Russian legislation in this area needs modernization”, said senator Sergei Fabrichny. “The most important thing in our bill is a new balance of interests of intellectual property owners, applicants, patent attorneys, and state authorities that meets the requirements of the present time”.

According to the senator, the new law will detail the powers and tasks faced by Rospatent and the Federal Chamber of Patent Attorneys, which will be created. By the way, all Russian patent attorneys will be obliged to become its members. It is also expected that the standards of the profession will be formalized and adopted.

In addition, a notion of a “commercial secret” of a patent attorney is expected to appear.

The senator noted that amendments to the law on patent attorneys have been discussed for several years already. But only now, according to him, they have become closer to having a foothold in the law.

Black Russian Cocktail

Supreme Court: “Black Russian” trademark registration in Russia should be suspended

The Supreme Court of the Russian Federation confirmed the legality of the decision by Rospatent to invalidate legal protection for the “Black Russian” trademark.

As was previously found, the trademark registration in Russia has been made on June 10, 2013 in the name of a Dutch company Berklee Capital S.A. and covers “alcoholic beverages, namely cocktails” under the 33rd class of the International Classification of Goods and Services.

The grant decision was opposed by TSN Brands LTD on April 20, 2015 by filing an objection with Rospatent in a protest against granting legal protection to the trademark.

On December 29, 2015, the Russian Patent and Trademark Office agreed with the objection and suspended legal protection of the trademark. According to Rospatent, the “Black Russian” designation is the name of a type of food products – namely well-known cocktails – which does not possess a distinctive ability and thus cannot be used as a trademark.

This decision has been appealed by Berklee Capital S.A. to the Russian Intellectual Property Court (IPC), and later to the Supreme Court.

The Russian Intellectual Property Court in December 2016 confirmed the legality of Rospatent’s decision to invalidate the Black Russian trademark. Thus, the court rejected the cassation of Berklee Capital S.A. on the findings of IPC as the first instance. The Dutch company appealed to the court to challenge the decision of Rospatent.

The Russian Patent and Trademark Office found that the Black Russian designation was coined long before the filing date as the name of a cocktail consisting of vodka, coffee liqueur, and ice. At the same time, both Black Russian and its Russian translation (“Черный Русский”) is used as the designation of the drink.

Rospatent has noted that  the description of the classic proportions and the recipe of the cocktail are found at the official website of the International Bartenders Association, which means that every barman can use them freely.

Despite the fact that the cocktail compositions can have different ingredients (in some versions it is mixed with Coca-Cola to reduce the alcohol contents), the base has always remained the same, that is, in any case it is a mixture of vodka and coffee liquor.

On the basis of an information letter by the Russian League of Bartenders, Rospatent has found that Black Russian / “Черный русский” cocktail is included in the list of official cocktails by the International Bartenders Association and has been known since 1949 and later appeared in Russia during in the early 1990s. The cocktail is also commonly included as a part of the mandatory bartender training program.

Rospatent came to a conclusion that Black Russian is perceived by the inhabitants of the Russian Federation as a certain type of cocktail, produced according to a certain recipe, thus having no distinctive ability, while being used as a designation for certain types of goods.


‘Kalashnikov’ trademark registered in China

The Kalashnikov concern has registered “Kalashnikov” and “AK 47” trademarks in China to cover the main products of the enterprise – firearms, ammunition and shells (class 13), and also toys, including equipment for airsoft and paintball (class 28).

As stated in the press release, registration of these trademarks in China is an important step of the global strategy for consolidation the company’s intellectual property throughout the world.

“Since 2014, we have been working hard to consolidate and protect the legendary arms brand both in our country and abroad,” said Kalashnikov’s CEO Alexei Krivoruchko. “Kalashnikov is a world-famous brand, and its registration in China as a trademark is a big step forward in terms of legal protection. Now we have all necessary means to take legal action against pirated products, ultimately increasing the long-term value of the brand”.

Калашников / Kalashnikov trademark has been successfully registered in Russia in 2015 and covers the main products of the enterprise – firearms, ammunition and shells. The corresponding certificates for the trademark are issued by the Federal Service for Intellectual Property (Rospatent).

In this year, the work to protect the trademark was continued on the basis of an agreement between the company and the designer’s heirs. In 2016, a registration for firearm mock-ups has been achieved, along with a registration of a volumetric AK 47 trademark in Russia. Now it is extended to include software: computer games, CDs, DVDs, and other digital media, as long as they contain a depicture of the rifle.