Patent authority loses Skyy Vodka trademark dispute
MOSCOW, September 24 - RAPSI. The Ninth Commercial Court of Appeals has invalidated the patent authority's decision on the early termination of Skyy trademark protection in Russia, the court spokesperson told the Russian Legal Information Agency (RAPSI/rapsinews.com) on Monday.
Thus the court has upheld Skyy Spirits, LLC's appeal and has reversed the trial court judgment.
Skyy Spirits, LLC is part of the Italian Campari Group. The first instance court reaffirmed the watchdog's decision in June, which prematurely dismissed the brand's legal protection.
The trademark includes the "Skyy" label on a blue bottle. The trademark has been registered in the thirty-third class of the International Classification of Goods and Services for alcohol beverages, a classification which excludes beer in Russia.
The watchdog terminated the Skyy trademark's legal protection in October 2011 upon the Seychelles-based Esmington Corporation's request. The corporation said the owner did not use the trademark in Russia. Meanwhile, according to Esmington's website, the company has produced and sold various alcoholic drinks in Russia since 2004. Esmington uses the Skyy slogan for alcoholic drinks, such as the SKY-HI and HI-SKY trademarks.
The watchdog's decision reads that Skyy Spirits, LLC was notified of the hearing at the Chamber for Patent Disputes, but failed to attend.
The watchdog added that it had no reason to conclude that the trademark was used in Russia and the brand's legal protection was prematurely halted.
Skyy Spirits, LLC was established in 1992. It is based in San Francisco and is the eighth largest alcohol manufacturer in the United States, according to the company's website.