Burger King Fights for its Domain Name in Russia
American fast food chain Burger King delayed the opening of its first restaurant in Russia after filing a lawsuit against the Dutch company Talco Aktiengesellschaft, which registered the domain name burgerking.ru in 2000.
Although Burger King registered its trademark in Russia in 1994, it did not register its domain name.
In November 2009, Burger King signed a franchise agreement with Shokoladnitza, a popular Russian coffee shop chain, and planned to open its first restaurant in Moscow in December 2009. However, after refusing to buy the existing domain name from the present rights holder, on November 30, 2009 Burger King sued the Dutch company for trademark infringement at the Moscow Arbitration Court.
According to intellectual property experts, Burger King is likely to win the case, as Part 4 of the Russian Federation Civil Code, effective since January 1, 2008, states that a trademark holder has the exclusive right to use a domain name corresponding to its trade name. Experts argue that the fast food chain may even receive compensation of up to EUR 117,000 (USD 170,000).
For more information, please contact Jelena Jankovic in our Balkan Regional Office.
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