Russian confectionery maker banned from selling Raffaello lookalikes

On September 17 2010 the Kiev Commercial Court ruled against Russian confectionery maker Landrin, thereby putting an end to the long-running dispute between Landrin and its Belgian counterpart Soremartec, which is a member of the Ferrero Group.

In 2007 Landrin began manufacturing sweets under the brand Landrin Waferatto Classic (pictured below on the right). Landrin's sweets are similar in appearance to Ferrero’s well-known Raffaello sweets (pictured below on the left).

Soremartec owns an international trademark which protects the appearance of the Raffaello sweets (International Registration 798984).

The dispute between the two confectionery makers began in April 2008, when Soremartec filed a claim against Landrin with the Kiev Commercial Court. In July 2008 Landrin filed a counterclaim and sought the revocation of Soremartec’s trademark. On February 3 2009 the Kiev Commercial Court ruled in favour of Soremartec.

In February 2009 Landrin appealed to have the decision of the Kiev Commercial Court reversed. On June 15 2009 the Kiev Commercial Court of Appeals ruled in favour of Landrin.

Soremartec immediately filed a cassation appeal with the Higher Commercial Court of Ukraine, requesting that the latter reverse the judgment of the Kiev Commercial Court of Appeals and uphold the decision of the Kiev Commercial Court. The cassation appeal was dismissed.

In December 2009 Soremartec filed a second cassation appeal with the Supreme Court of Ukraine. On January 26 2010 the latter ruled that Soremartec’s initial claim should be reconsidered by the Kiev Commercial Court.

Last month the Kiev Commercial Court ruled in favour of Soremartec and dismissed Landrin’s action for the revocation of Soremartec’s registered trademark. The court decided that the Landrin Waferatto Classic sweets could not be sold in Ukraine, as they violated Soremartec's trademark rights.    

Maya Kryvoshei, PETOŠEVIC, Kiev    

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