Slovakia has not violated the rights of SPI Group to the Stolichnaya vodka trademark, the country's Constitutional Court has ruled.

SPI Group failed to win the case because it had not first secured a ruling from a lower court declaring it the owner of the Stolichnaya trademark, the Constitutional Court ruled last week.

The case forms part of a long-running dispute between SPI Group and Russia's state-owned group FKP Soyuzplodoimport over rights to the Stolichnaya name. Legal battles are ongoing in approximately 20 European countries.

A spokesman for SPI welcomed the Slovakia ruling this week as an indication that the firm can still win if it approaches a lower court. "It means that the case is far from over and that it should be resolved in Slovakia's judicial system", he told just-drinks.

FKP Soyuzplodoimport could not be reached for comment.