Court rules in favour of Scottish soft drink manufacturer in cancellation action

Russian Federation

On August 7 2012 the Moscow Commercial Court dismissed a legal action filed by Russia-based Business Invest Group seeking to cancel the registrations of the trademarks IRON BREW, IRN-BRU and PHENOMENAL, which belong to Scottish soft drink manufacturer AG Barr, on the grounds of non-use in Russia.

The plaintiff had applied to register its own IRN-BRU trademark at the Russian Patent and Trademark Office and argued that AG Barr’s registration for the same mark represented an obstruction in the trademark registration process. The plaintiff claimed that the mark had not been used in Russia for a period of three years.

Irn-Bru, a carbonated soft drink, is AG Barr’s biggest brand, advertised as “Scotland’s other national drink”, alongside Scotch whisky.

Businessinvestgroup has allegedly filed similar lawsuits against other firms, including Heineken. The company’s owner, Azamat Ibatullin, has reportedly applied to register numerous well-known marks, including ANALGIN, PLAYBOY, DR PEPPER, ORBIT and STIMOROL.

Jelena Jankovic, PETOŠEVIC, Belgrade

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