Nestle Sues Russian Beverage Distributor Over Parallel Import

Mar 24 2011 - 15:03

The Swiss food giant Nestle has filed a lawsuit at the Moscow Arbitration Court against the Russian company Elitvoda Ru accusing it of importing Perrier, Vittel and S. Pellegrino mineral water into Russia without authorization and selling it below the official price.

RBC Daily, Russian business newspaper, reports that Elitvoda Ru was a legal importer and distributor of Nestle mineral water until 2009 when Nestle raised the prices. The Russian company refused to sign a new contract with Nestle and last year it started to import the products independently from different suppliers in Germany, Poland, the Czech Republic and Holland. The Swiss company believes that Elitvoda Ru has violated its trademark rights and wants to ban further imports. The plaintiff is also asking the court to seize and destroy the already imported goods.

RBC Daily notes that the Russian legislators have had a lenient attitude towards parallel imports in the past and that Elitvoda Ru won similar parallel import disputes with the brewing giant Heineken in 2008 and the Czech brewery Staropramen in 2010.

For more information, please contact Jelena Jankovic at our Balkan Regional Office.

Source: RBC Daily, Russian business newspaper

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