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17 June 2008

MZS has won the most important trademark case tried in Russia over the recent years. The final award in the case was issued on June 17, 2008 by the Russian Higher Arbitrazh Court, the supreme judicial institution. Our client, the third largest brewery in Russia, has protected its right to use the brand Zlatopramen of a famous Czech beer producer on the grounds of the principle of international (extraterritorial) protection of trademarks, as stipulated in Article 6 quinquies of the Paris Convention on Industrial Property Protection. Preceding judicial practice, when it came to likelihood of confusion, failed to recognize that trademarks may be well-known in a foreign country only (as opposed to being internationally well-known), and adhered to territorial approach to the matter. The producers of similar goods that were late to arrive to the Russian market used to face the claims from competitors who had locally used similar designations of foreign origin. The case we have won marks a change towards a more European approach to protection of intellectual property in Russia.