Russia's largest brewery fails to register beer mark

Russian Federation

In August 2012 the Ninth Commercial Court of Appeals upheld an April 2012 ruling of the Moscow Commercial Court in which the latter had confirmed the refusal by the Russian Federal Service for Intellectual Property, Patents and Trademarks (Rospatent) to register the trademark ZATECKY GUS in the name of Baltika Breweries, Russia's largest brewery.

Rospatent's decision was based on the fact that the trademark includes the word ‘Zatecky’, an adjective derived from the name Zatec, which is a well-known beer-producing town in the Czech Republic. Rospatent thus concluded that the trademark could mislead consumers as to the beer’s country of origin.

Baltika Breweries, which is based in Saint Petersburg, Russia, had argued that:

  • its reputation would prevent consumers from being misled; and
  • the average consumer lacked sufficient knowledge of geography and the brewing industry to establish an association with the Czech town.

Baltika Breweries, part of the Carlsberg Group, is the largest brewery in Eastern Europe and Russia’s beer market leader with a 40% market share. It owns over 40 brands, exports its products to over 70 countries and contributes to 70% of Russia’s beer exports.

Jelena Jankovic, PETOŠEVIC, Belgrade  

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