Philip Morris’ dispute with patent watchdog to be heard on April 24
MOSCOW, April 19 - RAPSI. The Moscow Commercial Court has suspended until April 24 its hearing of the Philip Morris tobacco company’s lawsuit against the patent watchdog’s refusal to register the Optima Zolotaya trademark, the court told the Russian Legal Information Agency (RAPSI/rapsinews.ru).
Philip Morris requested to register the Optima Zolotaya trademark. However, the Federal Service for Intellectual Property, Patents and Trademarks ruled that it is confusingly similar to trademarks previously registered by British American Tobacco-Java.
During the previous session, the plaintiff submitted a written clarification and a sociological study showing that people clearly differentiate between the trademarks.
The court postponed the hearings so that the patent watchdog and British American Tobacco - the other parties in the dispute -- can prepare their arguments.
The watchdog believes the word "Zolotaya" in the Optima Zolotaya name can be perceived as an independent element, which violates British American Tobacco-Java’s rights.
In March 2011, Philip Morris attempted to dispute the service’s decision, claiming that the word "Zolotaya" on a pack of cigarettes is not perceived separately from the word "Optima." However, the Chamber for Patent Disputes found these arguments unconvincing. The company did not agree with the service's decision and decided to refer the matter to court.
Phillip Morris International has representative offices in over 160 countries. Its headquarters are located in New York. The company owns brands such as Marlboro, L&M, Chesterfield and Bond Street. In 2010, Philip Morris' share of the international market stood at 16 percent.
Established in the UK in 1902, British American Tobacco comes second only to Philip Morris International. Its brands include Lucky Strike, Pall Mall, Kent and Dunhill. The company operates 45 plants in 39 countries.