Confectioners at Odds Over Soviet Chocolate Brand
The fight for Alyonka between confectioners in the two Russian capitals started when the Federal Anti-Monopoly Service prohibited the St. Petersburg-based Krupskaya Factory from producing Krupskaya Alyonka chocolate. Moscow's United Confectioners, which had patented the Soviet Alyonka brand in 1999, had complained that the products' wrappers were too similar.
But now Krupskaya is striking back by producing the Mechta Alyonki (Alyonka's Dream) chocolate bar. The confectioner, which is owned by Orkla Brands Russia, has also filed a notice with the Federal Service for Intellectual Property to get rights to produce other sweets under the Mechta Alyonki brand, Marker.ru reported, citing Olga Agafonova, a spokeswoman for Orkla Brands.
The Mechta Alyonki brand was registered by Azart, an Orkla subsidiary, in 2003.
Sergei Lapin, a partner at Nadmitov, Ivanov & Partners law firm, said that Krupskaya's use of the brand would not be in violation of the antitrust ruling, but he added that officials could still decide whether this form of the name is acceptable.
The battle for Soviet brands is gaining more momentum now, with companies also squaring off to get rights to old alcohol brands, as well as the famous Vologda butter.
Russia's entry into the World Trade Organization has given local companies new mechanisms for getting and protecting intellectual property rights, which is helping to fuel the fight.
"Now the law allows you to fight for Soviet brands and gives you a sufficiently effective arsenal, which was not the case in the Soviet period," Lapin said. "So yes, it will become more important to register one or another trademark for yourself to ensure priority use and, if need be, use this trademark to battle the competition."
Источник: Moscow Times