News

RUSSIA: UDV says Moscow Smirnoff ruling "defies common sense"

Most popular

Should Campari Group be renamed Aperol Group?

just-drinks speaks to A-B InBev CEO Carlos Brito

Why water has become more important than wine

Campari Group's Aperol Q3 bonanza - Comment

MORE
UDV, owner of Smirnoff vodka, has suffered its second setback in as many weeks in its battle for the vodka trademark in the Russian market. The Moscow City Court, yesterday, ruled not to recognize the Smirnoff trademark as 'well-known' in the Russian Federation.

"Yesterday's decision defies common sense," said Peter Necarsulmer, an adviser to GuinnessUDV. "The Court's finding that the world's best selling vodka brand is not 'well-known' to Russian consumers is an immediate and unpleasant reminder of the truth of Russian President Putin's recent comments about the need to reform the Russian judicial system," Necarsulmer added.

In a statement UDV said the Moscow City Court decision had no effect on the continued sale or production of Smirnoff vodka in Russia. However, the ruling is a second embarrassment to the company, which recently lost a court battle in the Krasnodar district. The Crimean-based court ruled that it was illegal for UDV to use the trademarks, labels or any other brand-related material carrying even part of the Smirnov name.

"Just like recent local court decisions in the Krasnodar Krai, the Moscow City Court ruling of today stands in marked contrast to dozens of legal decisions upholding GuinnessUDV's exclusive rights to the Smirnoff trademark," said Necarsulmer.

"Courts and national trademark offices throughout the former Soviet Union and the world have recently ruled either to recognize the Smirnoff trademark as famous and well-known, or against registration of the Trading House of P.A. Smirnov's competing trademark, including France, Czech Republic, Ukraine, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, among many others," added Necarsulmer.

"Owners of the Smirnoff trademark have already appealed the biased and unfounded decisions of the Krasnodar Krai Courts against Smirnoff and its producer Liviz to the Supreme Court where we are confident of victory," said Bob Sexton of Salans, Hertzfeld & Heilbronn, lawyers for GuinnessUDV, owner of the Smirnoff trademark.

"We look forward with equal confidence to a similarly favourable and objective ruling on the evidence by Rospatent (the Russian Agency for Patents and Trademarks) to establish once and for all that Smirnoff is 'well-known' not only throughout the world, but in Russia as well," he said.

Necarsulmer said: "Protecting GuinnessUDV's rights to the Smirnoff trademark according to Russian and international law, including recognition of Smirnoff as well-known in the Russian Federation, will be an important signal that the President's statement is a real commitment and not just words," Necarsulmer concluded.


Related Content

Absolut, Smirnoff and their conflicting views on US Millennials - Analysis

Absolut, Smirnoff and their conflicting views on US Millennials - Analysis...

Diageo targets Millennials for Smirnoff growth

Diageo targets Millennials for Smirnoff growth...

SPI Group 'disappointed' over Stolichnaya ruling

SPI Group 'disappointed' over Stolichnaya ruling...

"The future isn't to get concerned about monolithic brands like Bacardi and Smirnoff, but to encoura...

Oops! This article is copy protected.

Why can’t I copy the text on this page?

The ability to copy articles is specially reserved for people who are part of a group membership.

How do I become a group member?

To find out how you and your team can copy and share articles and save money as part of a group membership call Sean Clinton on
+44 (0)1527 573 736 or complete this form..



Forgot your password?