Guinness Russia trademark termination suit set for April 12
MOSCOW, March 11 - RAPSI. The Moscow Commercial Court has scheduled a hearing date of April 12 for Aqualife's lawsuit against alcohol manufacturer Diageo Ireland for the early termination of Guinness' trademark protection in Russia, the court told RAPSI on Monday.
The Aqualife soft drinks company, which is presently a parallel importer of Guinness, claims that Diageo is not using the brand in Russia.
"Parallel" or "gray" imports are goods imported from another country without the official manufacturer's permission.
An Aqualife representative said the company is highly interested in the brand during the preliminary hearing. However, Diageo Ireland's lawyer objected, insisting that the company is using the brand.
The lawyer asked to schedule the primary hearing in one month's time, as Diageo requires time to collect the necessary documents and to deliver them to Russia as a foreign company.
The court then scheduled the hearing for April, adding that it can be postponed further.
The Moscow Commercial Court will hear another lawsuit filed by Aqualife against Heineken Ceska republica to terminate the Krusovice trademark's legal protection on March 14.
According to the Register of the Federal Service for Intellectual Property (Rospatent), the Krusovice brand was registered in Russia in 2004 as the property of Heineken Ceska republica in relation to just one commodity - beer - and the registration expiry date is September 2013.
Diageo was established in 1997, following the merger of Guinness and GrandMet. The London-headquartered company owns a number of brands, including Smirnoff, Johnnie Walker, Guinness, Baileys, J&B, Captain Morgan, Cuervo, Tanqueray, and Crown Royal, as well as Beaulieu Vineyard and Sterling Vineyards wines. Diageo sells its products in 180 countries. Its shares are listed on the New York and London stock exchanges.
Guinness is a beer brand owned by Diageo, initially associated with Irelands Arthur Guinness Son & Co, established in 1759 by brewer Arthur Guinness.
It is the most widely known and consumed Irish beer.
Guinness is produced and imported into Russia by Heineken under a license agreement.
Heineken is one of the world's largest brewing companies. It operates in 71 countries, including Russia, where it began business in February 2002 after buying its first brewery in St. Petersburg. Heineken now owns eight breweries in Russia. The company's portfolio contains roughly 30 brands, including the popular international trademarks Heineken, Amstel Premium Pilsener, Zlaty Bazant, Guinness, and Desperados.