Heineken Succeeds in Non-Use Cancellation Action against Radler Trademark
Heineken Slovensko brewery, part of the Heineken Group and based in the Slovak Republic, has recently succeeded in cancelling Russia’s leading brewery Ochakovo’s trademark Radler, registered in Russia in Class 32 in 2002.
Radler is a term used for a drink made of beer and lemonade. In 2013, Heineken Slovensko initiated the procedure for cancellation of the trademark due to non-use in Russia and on January 16, 2014 the cassation-instance Intellectual Property Court, based in Moscow, ordered the cancellation of the trademark.
This was not the first action against this trademark. Namely, in September 2011, German brewery Löwenbräu also filed a cancellation request due to non-use, but failed as the Russian PTO’s Chamber of Patent Disputes accepted Ochakovo’s evidence of use, even though the evidence was weak. After that, in April 2012, Heineken filed a cancellation action based on the absolute grounds for refusal, stating that Radler is a name of a type of certain goods, the mix of beer and lemonade, but also failed. The Chamber of Patent Disputes considered both cases.
The IP Court’s recent decision is remarkable because the court gave a detailed explanation of the plaintiff’s legal interests and ignored the Russian Chamber of Patent Disputes’ 2012 decision, which stated that the trademark was in use in the time period 2010-2012.
It should be noted that the Chamber of Patent Disputes’ decision was arguable, and that the IP Court did not accept it automatically, but fully reconsidered all evidence of use and reassessed the case.
By: Tatyana Kulikova
For more information, please email Tatyana Kulikova at our Russia office.
Source: The text of the decision in Russian
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