US: Pernod Ricard, Russian Standard settle Stolichnaya row
Russian Standard had claimed that Stolichnaya was not Russian
Pernod Ricard and Russian Standard have settled their legal differences over Pernod's former vodka brand, Stolichnaya.
The two companies confirmed late yesterday (8 April) that they “have reached a settlement of claims brought by Russian Standard against Pernod Ricard in the US District Court for the Southern District of New York”.
Back in 2006, when the fight between the two companies in the global vodka category was at its fiercest, Russian Standard filed a lawsuit in the US against Pernod for false advertising. "Our complaint asks the US court to evaluate the facts behind authenticity claims made regarding Stolichnaya vodka, and to resolve the parties' dispute based on those facts,” the company said at the time, attacking Pernod's claims that Stolichnaya was produced in Russia.
Pernod countered the suit, arguing that Stolichnaya was distilled and produced in Russia, before being shipped in bulk to Latvia where it was bottled.
Pernod said yesterday: “The claims in this action have been dismissed with prejudice, without any admission of liability by any party, without payment of money by any party to any other party and without injunctive relief for or against any party or any of its affiliate.”
The distribution and marketing of Stolichnaya was handled by Pernod for Cyprus-based firm Soyuzplodimport (SPI) up until 2008. Despite long-running discussions between the two, Pernod was unable to acquire the brand outright, choosing instead to acquire the owner of the Absolut vodka brand, Vin & Sprit, two years ago.
SPI subsequently retained full ownership of Stolichnaya, plumping instead for distribution alliances with companies such as William Grant & Son.
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