Appeal in dispute on ceasing Skyy brand protection to be heard in January
MOSCOW, December 3 - RAPSI. The Moscow District Federal Commercial Court will hear on January 15, 2013 the appeal in the dispute on the lawfulness of the intellectual property watchdog's resolution concerning the Skyy trademark, the court told the Russian Legal Information Agency (RAPSI/rapsinews.com).
The Ninth Commercial Court of Appeals upheld in September the claims filed by Skyy Spirits, LLC. The company is part of the Campari Group.
The first-instance court's ruling was dismissed. In July, the court sided with the watchdog's ruling to prematurely cease the Skyy vodka trademark's legal protection in Russia.
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 claims to use the Skyy slogan for alcoholic drinks, such as the Sky-Hi and Hi-Sky trademarks.
However, the appeals court stated that although the Esmington Corporation has claimed to sell alcohol products in Russia on its website, it has not provided evidence of actually doing so, or of using the trademarks. The court ruled that the company thus has no interest in ceasing Skyy's legal protection, and therefore denied its request to cease the protection of the brand in dispute.
The court also recognized that Skyy Spirits was not duly notified of the watchdog's examination.
The court accepted the plaintiffs evidence that the trademark is used and that its products are sold in the United States and supplied to Russia under a distribution contract.
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.