Russian IP Court Issues Interesting Decision Concerning Use of Third Party Trademarks

Feb 28 2017 - 11:01

On December 20, 2016, the Russian Intellectual Property (IP) Court issued an interesting ruling that concerns the issue of trademark use in advertisements by third-party sellers and when this constitutes infringement.

Namely, a shop selling spare car parts, owned by Mr. V. K. Asheulov, featured a wall display that included trademarks of AVTOVAZ PJSC, Russian automotive company which manufactures and sells vehicles under the Lada and Zhiguli brand names. Mr. Asheulov’s wall panel included AVTOVAZ’s ‘VAZ’ trademark and its commonly known figurative mark ‘Shallop in oval’.

The police initiated an administrative action which was dismissed by the courts of first and second instance and brought to the IP Court, which upheld the lower courts’ rulings stating that the use of third-party trademarks on a wall panel does not constitute infringement provided that the seller is offering genuine trademarked goods.

While a rights holder is entitled to seek protection in court if his IP rights are infringed, the IP Court highlighted that the first question to be considered in similar cases is whether the alleged infringement relates to genuine or counterfeit goods. Therefore, if this decision is to be followed in future cases, Article 14.10 of the Code of Administrative Offences will not grant remedies to rights holders if the goods in question are genuine.

Prepared by: Julia Zhevid and Tatyana Kulikova

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Source: Russian legal news website

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