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Russia: Different fates for Tarantino and Broadway

The Russian Patent Office rejected registration of a trade mark in application 2012715514 with priority of May 14 2012 in the name of a Russian company Tarantino Ltd Co. The designation is a figurative representation of the relevant name.

While rejecting the application the Patent Office argued that that the claimed designation reproduces the name of the American filmmaker and actor, Quentin Tarantino without his approval which can mislead the consumer with regard to the person rendering services.

Regardless of the original graphic representation of the three word elements and ragged design of the designation, the word, according to the Patent Office, can be read easily and perceived as the word "Tarantino". This unequivocal perception of the claimed designation as the name of a famous American filmmaker is enhanced by the factual data showing its use. The internet site of the applicant contains information about the restaurant opened in Moscow honouring the legendary American producer. The interior of the restaurant reproduces the settings of the film Pulp Fiction and other movies by Tarantino. It is interesting to note that there are no limitations in registering the company name "Tarantino".

In contrast, the Chamber of Patent Disputes took a different approach during consideration of an appeal filed by Dr Rehfeld Fashion AG of Germany against the decision of the examiner rejecting protection in Russia of an International Registration number 799730.

The Chamber of Patent Disputes agreed to grant protection to the trade mark in respect of goods in classes 18 and 25. The applicant submitted the documents showing that the designation "Broadway" is not only a familiar name of the street in New York but also the name of streets in the UK and Australia. This circumstance proves, according to the Chamber, that the consumer does not definitely associate the trade mark with a particular geographical place.

Besides, the documents submitted by the applicant testify that the trade mark was created by the applicant in the 1980s for the purpose of marking clothes in a casual style and accessories hinting at New York. For over 20 years the consumers of these goods were mainly people between 17 and 30 years old, the goods being sold in more than 30 countries. Clothes and accompanying accessories under this brand have been present on the Russian market since 2009. The volume of sales during eight months of 2011 hit E1,482,751. This shows that the trade mark acquired additional distinctiveness in respect of goods in classes 18 and 25.

The applicant also submitted documents confirming the existence of protection in various countries, which proves the goodwill of the applicant and his intention to continue business in Russia.

Vladimir Biriulin

Gorodissky & Partners
Russia 129010, Moscow
B. Spasskaya Str
25, stroenie 3
Tel: +7 495 937 6116 / 6109
Fax: +7 495 937 6104 / 6123


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