Wartime challenges for trade marks: how long will Russia continue to protect famous foreign marks?
Journal of Intellectual Property Law & Practice
Since Russia launched a military attack on Ukraine in early 2022, hundreds of foreign companies have left the Russian market, making lawyers wonder what may happen to these entities’ trade marks in the country. There have not been any consistent actions from the Russian state towards these assets so far, despite populists’ statements and selected judges’ hesitance to enforce trade marks of companies from “unfriendly” states. Still, in the environment of weakened rule of law, several private persons attempted to commercialize on fleeing brands by filing parasitic trade mark applications that copied or imitated foreign famous marks.
On this background, the authors review current trends and describe what legal instruments in the international and national Russian law are at disposal of foreign owners to maintain protection and guarantee successful enforcement of their famous marks on the Russian territory. The main inference is that the functioning legal setting is in place with respect to trade marks, but the general unpredictability of conditions under the authoritarian Russian regime hints that private corrupt interests may prevail over foreign entities’ rights at any moment.
In addition, by comparing the present case with some historical examples involving limitations of aggressors’ marks, it is important to remember that any restraints to trade marks of politically rival parties will, first and foremost, harm consumers and commercial actors, preventing the formation of a free market, which is for now antithetical to the regime in Russia.
Oxford University Press
Irene Calboli & Vera Sevastianova,
Wartime challenges for trade marks: how long will Russia continue to protect famous foreign marks?,
J. Intell. Prop. L. & Prac.
Available at: https://scholarship.law.tamu.edu/facscholar/1780