It is said the term RUSIANO coffee was first termed by the Russian prime minister Dimitri Medvedev. During the Eurasian Intergovernmental Council, Mr. Medvedev asked for an americano coffee, and then corrected himself saying it wasn’t politically correct and it should be a RUSIANO rather than AMERICANO.
Shortly after his statement, the fast food chain BURGER KING was the first to react to his proposal and the AMERICANO coffee wording was changed to RUSIANO coffee on their menu.
Trademark applications have since been lodged for the RUSIANO trademark in Russia.
Applicants include advertising companies and the owners of FASHION TV. One applicant, a St Petersburg lawyer, applied for the mark claiming he has no current plans to use the mark but would be happy to consider a possible cooperation with a third party. He further stated in an interview with RT (Russian Television) that some his clients, which include the famous companies such as Heineken and Carl’s Junior Hamburgers have plans for a commercial use of the brand RUSIANO. However, he claimed he was unsure whether his mark would reach registration.
Certain cafes in the Crimea early on changed the name of AMERICANO coffee to RUSIANO and CRIMSKY coffee – including changing the name on automatic coffee dispensers.
A similar case occurred in the US with FREEDOM FRIES – replacing the term French fries. The term was coined in 2003 when the prominent Republican Bob Nevy changed the name in 3 congressional cafes as a reply to France’s stance against the invasion of Iraq. Various restaurants in the US followed suit moving to the FREEDOM FRIES name. Following Mr. Nevy’s resignation as chairman of the Committee on House Administration in 2006, the old name of French fries slowly came back. In a similar way to Russia with RUSIANO, after Mr. Nevy’s statement, a number of different companies lodged applications for the FREEDOM FRIES mark in the US.
It is yet to be seen if the RUSIANO trademark will be registered by ROSPATENT covering coffee in Russia, especially as a number of cafes and restaurants already use this name to describe a certain coffee type.