The Intellectual Property Court in Russia (IP Court) started operation in the second part of 2013. This court deals with disputes in the field of intellectual property rights. Since the beginning of 2016, the first instance IP Court has established 38 decisions on claims involving the St. Petersburg companies and entrepreneurs.
These mostly are claims for early trademark termination resulting from non-use. The IP Court also deals with many disputes on cancellation of Rospatent decisions or refusal to grant patents for utility models, industrial designs and inventions. The cases of unfair competition by using trademarks also take place in the IP Court in Russia.
Popularity of actions for termination of unused rights (early trademark termination) is a result of a lack of practice. The IP Court in Russia has just started to work, and now is the time when a practice, which plays into the hands of interested parties, can be established.
The requests for early trademark termination become more popular – the partner of Capital Legal Services, Irina Onikienko says – This procedure is aimed at avoiding a situation when the legal owner neither uses a trademark nor allows others to use it.
The Court satisfied most of this year’s claims for early trademark termination, so today such claims are effective mechanism to protect economic interests. Thus, the brewing company Heineken deprived the group BIN of the trademark ОХОТА (“OHOTA), and a real estate developer “Glavstroy SPB seized by court action the trademark PANORAMA for the goods windows from the holding Businessinvestgroup. The company START – the owner of retail chain Domovoy – seized by court action the trademark Domovoy for 15 classes of goods, which has been registered back in 1998 in the name of the publishing company Rodionova – format. Among cases, successfully brought to an end, is the claim of retailers Perekrestok and Argtorg (Pyatorochka) for a termination of the trademark ПятЪница belonging to OOO Kamelot (Business Petersburg newspaper, #163). The most interesting case in this field in 2016 was the dispute between OOO Avtologistika (a claimant) and the auto group Hyundai Motor. Being an importer of automotive parts, the claimant filed a lawsuit against Hyundai Motor for a termination of the trademark HYUNDAI for automotive parts. The claimant stated that Hyundai Motor did not use the trademark HYUNDAI in the sale of automotive parts but chases others who imports labelled automotive parts without their consent. Despite a seemingly strong position of the auto group Hyundai Motor, the Court has satisfied the claim of “Avtologistika” and terminated the “HYUNDAI” trademark for automotive parts. The IP Court rationalized the decision by adding that since Hyundai Motor itself does not sell the spare parts in Russia, it means that in fact the trademark is not used for these purposes.