US court rules in favor of Russian company in trademark dispute
MOSCOW, Ocotber 14 (RAPSI ) – A federal court in Washington ruled in favor of Russian Aqua-Life company in a lawsuit which American beverage company Vosk International (Vosk) brought against predecessors-in-interest in an effort to lay claim to the international trademarks associated with three popular drinks.
The case was initially brought by Vosk, a Washington state general partnership that has been in the business of marketing, distributing, and selling beverages in the US since 1997, against defendant Russian companies Zao Gruppa Predpriyatij Ost (Zao Gruppa) and Zao Ost Aqua (Zao Aqua).
According to an earlier order issued in the same case, the former owns the latter. Both were in the business of manufacturing, bottling, and selling non-alcoholic beverages in Russia.
In March 2004, Zao Aqua agreed to sell three beverages – “Duchess, extra-cider, and estragon” – to Vosk. The contract stipulated that Zao Aqua would alter its formula to suit Vosk’s needs, and would use stylized English-language labels created by Vosk. Vosk began importing and selling the beverages that summer.
In September 2004, Vosk filed international trademarks applications with the US Patent and Trade Office, seeking to register the names (specifically: “KCTPA-CNTP EXTRA-CIDER,” “TAPXYH ESTRAGON,” and “DIOWEC DUSHESS,”) and labels of these three beverages. Based on their own trademarks, Zao Gruppa and Zao Aqua opposed the patent office’s decision to grant these international trademarks.
In April 2010, Zao Gruppa and Zao Aqua transferred their rights in the trademarks at issue to Aqua-Life, is a Russian company that, like the defendants, manufactures, bottles, and sells soft beverages.
The court recognized the United States Patent and Trademark Office's decision to refuse Vosk the rights to aforementioned brands.