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Successful Representation Of Client In A Case About Abuse Of Trademark Rights

Client Perfetti Van Melle Ltd. (Russia)


New Technologies Ltd. (Russia) is the right holder of several thousand trademarks containing as protected elements or consisting only of the popular, «attractive» words which are in general use, such as «» («health»), «» («joy»), « » («hazelnuts»), «» («sports»), « » («Forest Fairy Tale»), «» («fantasia»), « » («Yelena the Fair»), « » («The Golden Key»), « » («Ilya Muromets»), « » («Dobrynya Nikitich» — both are characters of the Russian tales), « » («RUSSIAN BEAUTY»), « » («Golden Autumn»), and so on.
In 2014, New Technologies Ltd. filed a claim against Perfetti Van Melle Ltd. which is the Russian subsidiary of the international holding Perfetti Van Melle Holding B.v. and produces candies, such as «Chupa Chups», «Fruit-tella», «Mentos».
New Technologies Ltd. referred to the illegal use by the producer Perfetti Van Melle Ltd. of the designation «FOOTBALL» which is registered trademark, and demanded that infringement be stopped, counterfeit products be seized and destructed as well as monetary compensation be paid.


Lawyers of the Gorodissky & Partners have studied the business activity of New Technologies Ltd., and its affiliated companies, and proposed the following strategy to protect the client.
Collaterally with consideration of these cases in the first instance commercial court, the lawyers of Gorodissky & Partners filed a lawsuit with the IP Court on the early termination of legal protection of the disputed trademark «FOOTBALL» due to its non-use. The court satisfied the claims in part and cancelled legal protection of the trademark in relation to various goods of class 30 of the International Classification of Goods and Services, such as candies, chewing marmalade. An additional point is that, the court in its resolution found that New Technologies Ltd. did not deny their non-use of the «FOOTBALL» trademark.
Named resolution of the IP Court, along with the assembled information about the number of trademarks owned by New Technologies Ltd, information about a substantial number of law cases, in which New Technologies Ltd. was a plaintiff, thereafter the written opinion of a trademark attorney were submitted by the lawyers of Gorodissky & Partners to the commercial court of the first instance together with the statement of defense.
In the statement of defense, Gorodissky & Partners claimed that New Technologies Ltd. derives profit from selling registered trademarks, from monitoring the use of the trademarks owned by them or similar designations by different companies and from further claiming the payment of monetary compensation for such illegal use, or persuading them to conclude assignment and license agreements. At the same time the main goal of their claims against Perfetti Van Melle Ltd. is not the protection of the infringed rights, but obtaining of financial benefit. Therefore, the actions of New Technologies Ltd. shall be recognized as abuse of right, which is an independent ground for the court to reject their claims in full.


As a result, commercial court decided to reject the claims of New Technologies Ltd. in full on the basis of the provisions of Art. 10 of the Civil Code (abuse of right). The decision of the first instance court was upheld by of the commercial court of appeals.