Premature cessation of Skyy vodka trademark legal protection disputed
MOSCOW, November 26 - RAPSI. The Moscow Commercial Court has registered cassation appeal over the dispute on the lawfulness of the Federal Service for Intellectual Property, Patents and Trademarks' ruling to prematurely cease the legal protection of the Skyy vodka trademark in Russia, the court's representative told the Russian Legal Information Agency (RAPSI/rapsinews.com) on Monday.
In September, the Ninth Commercial Court of Appeals upheld the claims filed by SKYY SPIRITS, LLC, which is part of the Italian Campari Group.
The first instance's ruling was dismissed; in July the court of first instance sided with the ruling of the service to cease the legal protection of the Skyy vodka trademark in Russia prematurely.
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 at 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.