Heineken obtains cancellation of RADLER mark for non-use

Russian Federation

Heineken Slovensko, which is part of the Heineken Group and is based in the Slovak Republic, has obtained the cancellation of the trademark RADLER. RADLER, which was owned by leading Russian brewery Ochakovo, was registered in 2002 in Class 32 of the Nice Classification.

'Radler' is a term used to designate a drink made of beer and lemonade. In 2013 Heineken Slovensko initiated proceedings for the cancellation of the trademark RADLER due to non-use in Russia. On January 16 2014 the Moscow-based Intellectual Property Court, as a court of cassation instance, ordered the cancellation of the trademark.

This was not the first action against this trademark. In September 2011 German brewery Löwenbräu filed a request for cancellation due to non-use, but the Chamber of Patent Disputes of the Russian Patent and Trademark Office accepted Ochakovo’s evidence of use, even though such evidence was weak. Subsequently, in April 2012 Heineken filed a cancellation action based on absolute grounds for refusal, stating that 'Radler' is the name of a type of goods (ie, a mix of beer and lemonade); however, the Chamber of Patent Disputes also dismissed the action.

The Intellectual Property Court’s recent decision is remarkable because the court gave a detailed explanation of the plaintiff’s legal interests but ignored the Chamber of Patent Disputes’ 2012 decision, which stated that the trademark had been in use in the time period between 2010 and 2012.

It should be noted that the Chamber of Patent Disputes’ 2012 decision was questionable; the Intellectual Property Court did not accept it automatically, but fully reconsidered all evidence of use and reassessed the case.

Tatyana Kulikova, PETOŠEVIĆ, Moscow

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