Russian companies contest popular drinks trademarks in U.S. court
MOSCOW, April 2 - RAPSI. A U.S. court has sided with the Russian Zao Gruppa Predpriyatiy OST and Zao OST Aqua companies in their request to participate in a local beverage producers lawsuit against them.
The plaintiff in the case is Vosk International Co., which seeks to register several trademarks in the United States. In its statement of claim, Vosk said it entered into a contract with the defendant Zao Ost Aqua in 2004 to manufacture and sell to Vosk Dushesse, Extra-cider, and Estragon drinks upon the companys specifications. Vosk asked the defendants to create the drinks without certain chemicals prohibited in the United States. Vosk also provided the defendants with English-language labels to use.
Dushesse, Extra-cider, and Estragon drinks are made by numerous manufacturers in Russia, which formulate the drinks according to recipes required by the Russian government and sell them under identical trademarks. Thus, no producers are able to claim trademark rights in Russia to these drinks. In this regard, Vosk filed an application with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to register the trademarks for these drinks.
However, Zao Gruppa Predpriyatiy OST and Zao OST Aqua challenged the registration, alleging prior use in the United States and the likelihood of confusion with its own trademarks.
Vosk then filed a lawsuit against the Russian companies with the U.S. District Court of the Western District of Washington.
Zao Gruppa Predpriyatiy OST is a diversified holding comprising over 20 companies, including alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverage producers, a brewery and associating enterprises.