In a recent piece for World Trademark Review, "Mark including word element ‘Lenin’ cannot be registered", Vladimir Biriulin (Gorodissky & Partners, Moscow) explains the refusal of the Patent Office to allow registration of a trade mark which included the name "Lenin", a decision subsequently upheld by the Chamber of Patent Disputes. He writes:
" ... Atomflot, a Russian state-owned maritime company, filed an application for the registration of the following trade mark (meaning 'Atomic Icebreaker Lenin') (Application 2009732845/50):Meanwhile, in a newsletter feature, "Rospatent Appeals Moscow Court Decision In 'Putin-Medvedev' Vodka Trademark Case", the IPKat's friends at Petosevic report as follows:
The Patent Office refused the application. It pointed out that 'Lenin' was the pseudonym of a political personality who had founded the Bolshevik party and headed the 1917 revolution in Russia. Since his name was closely connected to the history of the Russian state, registration of the mark in the name of the applicant would contradict public interest. The applicant appealed the decision to the Chamber of Patent Disputes.
The Chamber of Patent Disputes upheld the decision of the Patent Office. It pointed out that the mark applied for included a figurative and a word element, but that the dominant element was the word 'Lenin' because it would be memorised more easily than the figurative element. The attention of the consumer would thus be focused specifically on that word element. Given that Lenin is the name of a political personality who is well known worldwide, the mark applied for would create an association with Lenin himself, rather than with any trade marked goods...."
"Russia’s Federal Service for Intellectual Property, Patents and Trademarks (Rospatent) has recently appealed against Moscow Commercial Court’s decision stating that Rospatent’s refusal to register the “Volodya i Medvedi” (Volodya and the bears) trade mark is illegal.The IPKat will be watching for further developments with great interest.
Volodya is a nickname for Vladimir and Medvedi, or bears, sounds similar to the last name Medvedev.
Royalty appealed before the Moscow Commercial Court against the Rospatent’s decision and won the case on September 12, 2011.
At the time of going to press, additional details about the appeal brought by Rospatent against the Moscow Commercial Court were not available ...."
More on Lenin here; Lennon here; Lemmon here
Vodka and bears here and here