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The Russian IP Court recently rejected a non-use cancellation action filed by the Ukrainian soap maker Slobozhansky Mylovar against German automobile manufacturer Porsche AG’s Porsche, Porsche Cayenne and Porsche Stuttgart trade mark registrations.This Kat, suitably fascinated, will be watching for further developments. Meanwhile he thinks that trade mark owners who hold famous and/or well-known brands in their IP portfolios will be encouraged to see a pro-registered right ruling of this nature emanating from Russia, a jurisdiction in which big brand owners have had mixed fortunes in recent years.
In 2012, the Russian PTO’s Chamber of Patent Disputes partially refused Slobozhansky Mylovar’s applications for trade marks Posche and its Cyrillic version Поше, for soap, filed on November 30, 2010. Slobozhansky Mylovar appealed the PTO’s decision on partial refusal and this case was considered by the Moscow City Arbitrazh Court (the court of first instance), the Ninth Arbitrazh Court of Appeal (second instance) and the IP Court. The Supreme Court refused to reconsider the case.
Slobozhansky Mylovar recently asked for the early cancellation of trade marks Porsche, Porsche Cayenne and Porsche Stuttgart on the basis of their non-use for goods such as soap, perfume, cosmetic and hair-care products. However, Porsche presented evidence that Clarins Group, French luxury cosmetics company, produced goods bearing the mark of Porsche Design under the licence granted by Porsche. The Russian IP Court also found that promoting the goods named Поше and Poshe, which can be confused with Porsche, could qualify as an act of unfair competition.
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The IP Court decision can be appealed until April 25, 2015.