Successful Representation Of Client In A Dispute About Protection Of Business Reputation
Client Trading House Megapolis Ltd. (Russia)
A large distributor of alcoholic products Trading House Megapolis Ltd. (Russia) learned that Perviy Piteyniy Zavod (First Drinking Distillery, Russia) violates the rights of GSH Trademarks Limited Co. (Cyprus) as the right holder in the territory of the Russian Federation, selling products in similar packaging on the market. A patent attorney examined the appearance of a bottle of vodka "Distarka" produced by First Drinking Distillery and confirmed that the bottle is confusingly similar to 3D trademarks of "Khortytsya" series registered in the name of GSH Trademarks Limited Co. Trading House Megapolis is one of the largest distributors of alcoholic products as well as the official representative of the rightholder of the trademarks of series "Khortytsya," "Morosha," "Pervak," - GSH Trademarks Limited Co., in Russia.
Back in 2014, Trading House Megapolis Ltd. sent a letter to its partners informing them of its intention to defend its interests against unlawful acts of First Drinking Distillery. The latter considered the mail-out of that letter as an action detrimental to its business reputation, and filed a suit in the Moscow Commercial Court on protection of business reputation and recovery of reputational damage and losses totaling 789.5 million rubles. If judged by the claimed monetary compensation, the dispute became one of the most important defamation disputes in the history of consideration of this category of cases.
Thanks to wise defense strategies, as well as the coordinated work of the professionals of Gorodissky and Partners and of the representatives of Trading House Megapolis Ltd. the court dismissed the claims submitted by the First Drinking Distillery. Our professionals were able to prove to the court that the letters under dispute contained no allegations of unlawful actions by the plaintiff, and the cause and effect relationship between the actions of our client, and the losses incurred by the plaintiff and sought to be recovered, were absent. It was also proved that the method of calculation of damages applied by the plaintiff was not economically justified, and includes expenses that according to the explanations published by the Supreme Commercial Court should not be part of the losses (production costs and indirect taxes).
As a result, the claims of the First Drinking Distillery were denied in full. This decision was upheld by the court of appeal and subsequently by the court of cassation, in which the representative of Trading House Megapolis Ltd. participated.