Category Archives: Trademark Registration in Russia

black-friday

‘Black Friday’ trademark registration objection rejected by the RUPTO

The Russian Patent and Trademark Office has ruled the ‘Black Friday’ trademark (held by Black Friday Ltd.) to not be cancelled. Thus, the objection filed by ‘M.Video Management’ company against legal protection of the brand has been denied.

‘M.Video Management’ stated that, as a major Russian retailer, it extensively uses the ‘Black Friday’ trademark to designate discount sales. The company’s representative also mentioned that the brand in question has been known in Russia long before the priority date of the trademark due to the large coverage by the media (the ‘Black Friday’ trademark has been registered by Black Friday Ltd. in December 2015).

However, the Russian Patent and Trademark Office has agreed with Black Friday Ltd., which stated that, as the business activities of the company covered by the trademark are different from those of the objector, no trademark infringement occurs.

It is always important to remember that Russia is a ‘first-to-file’ country in terms of the trademark priority. Thus, it is impossible to gain any legal protection solely on the grounds of the actual business use of the mark, as a legal priority date can be obtained by filing a regular trademark application with the Russian Patent and Trademark Office only.

russia-china-intellectual-property-protection

Russia and China to join efforts on intellectual property protection

China and Russia are about to intensify their efforts in terms of intellectual property protection, as stated in the official press release issued by the end of a meeting of the two countries’ prime ministers.

The prime minister of the People’s Republic of China’s State Council Li Ketzyan visited Moscow on November 6-8th, as a part of his official visit to Russia. On November 7th  he had a meeting with Russian prime minister Dmitry Medvedev.

According to the press release, ‘the parties agreed that IP authorities of Russia and China must extend collaboration on intellectual property protection matters, including harmonization of their positions on the international level’.

Kalashnikov

Kalashnikov’s heirs to oppose the ‘AK-47’ trademark in Russia

The ‘M. T. Kalashnikov’ company established by the famous constructor, his daughter, and grandson, has filed an appeal opposing a ruling by the Russian Intellectual Property Court (IPC) which limited the company’s rights to the ‘AK-47’ brand in Russia in accordance with a recent lawsuit filed by ‘Kalashnikov’ business concern, the biggest Russian weapon manufacturer.

The appeal has been filed on 22nd of September, 2016; the date of the initial hearing is yet unknown.

The trademark in question, comprising an image depicting a Kalashnikov rifle accompanied by a ‘AK-47’ wording, has successfully passed a standard trademark registration procedure in Russia in 2004 and has been later prolonged by ‘M. T. Kalashnikov’ company until 2022. According to the Russian trademark database, it covered goods, such as clothes, head gear, toys, toy guns and table games. The legal protection of games and toys sold under the trademark had been later opposed by the weapon manufacturer in June 2014.

In 2014, the manufacturer’s lawsuit has been rejected by the IPC. The court had found that the trademark was used by third parties for products such as AK-47 rifle models for strikeball,  while staying fully controlled by the holder. Hence, any legal grounds for trademark termination were absent.

However, in 2015 the IPC had annulled the ruling of the first instance court and set the case to be re-considered. During the hearings, the IPC has ruled a court sociological expertise to be held; its results were later used as legal grounds for the court’s ruling. According to the court, the experts have concluded that, when used by the rightsholder, the distinctiveness of the trademark is lost. That said, 80% of poll participants have found that the mark depicts the product itself, i.e. an AK-47 Kalashnikov rifle, while 91% said that the ‘AK-47’ wording means a product (i.e. rifle) model.

The first instance IPC had terminated the legal protection of the Mikhail Kalashnikov company’s trademark for several categories of goods, including toys, toys with movable parts, and games, as it was not used by the rightsholder for these products.

The manufacturer’s representatives have explained that their interest is based on intention to use the trademark for production of full-scale rifle models, including AK-47. The IPC has ruled to leave the ruling unchanged. The gunsmith’s heirs have requested the Russian supreme court to terminate both rulings.

The ‘M. T. Kalashnikov’ company has been established in 1999 by Mikhail Kalashnikov himself, and also his daughter and grandson. The legendary weapon constructor died on 23rd of December, 2013; he was 94 years old.

‘Kalashnikov’ business concern was established in 2013 based on ‘Izhmash’ and ‘Izhmekh’ factories to consolidate all major state facilities of the Russian weapon industry. The concern’s products are supplied to 27 countries, including the US, UK, Germany, Norway, Italy, Canada, Kazakhstan, and Thailand.