Ukrainian soap maker fails to cancel PORSCHE marks for non-use

Russian Federation

The Russian IP Court has rejected a cancellation action for non-use filed by Ukrainian soap maker Slobozhansky Mylovar against German automobile manufacturer Porsche AG’s trademark registrations for PORSCHE, PORSCHE CAYENNE and PORSCHE STUTTGART.

In 2012 the Russian PTO’s Chamber of Patent Disputes had partially refused Slobozhansky Mylovar’s applications, filed on November 30 2010, for the trademark POSCHE - and its Cyrillic version ПОШЕ - for soap. Slobozhansky Mylovar appealed the PTO’s partial refusal and the case was heard by the Moscow City Arbitrazh Court (at first instance), the Ninth Arbitrazh Court of Appeal (at second instance) and the IP Court. The Supreme Court refused to reconsider the case.

Slobozhansky Mylovar then asked for the early cancellation of the trademarks PORSCHE, PORSCHE CAYENNE and PORSCHE STUTTGART on the ground of non-use for goods such as soap, perfume, cosmetic and hair care products. However, Porsche presented evidence that Clarins Group, a French luxury cosmetics company, had produced goods bearing the mark PORSCHE DESIGN under a licence granted by Porsche.

The Russian IP Court also found that promoting goods under the marks ПОШЕ and POSCHE, which could be confused with PORSCHE, could qualify as an act of unfair competition.

The IP Court's decision can be appealed until April 25 2015.

Tatyana Kulikova, PETOŠEVIĆ, Moscow

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