Ramon Confectionary, a famous entity in Russia, filed trade
mark application number 2013705310 in respect of goods in class
30 (pictured below).
The figurative trade mark application carries an inscription
for those who do not know: "Princess Oldenburg's Palace" and
the words "Nobility Mansion" below the image.
The application was rejected, the reason being that the word
element "Princess Oldenburg's Palace" and the figurative
element of the claimed designation reproduces a fragment of the
Oldenburg's Palace, a mansion of late nineteenth century in a
small Ramon town in the vicinity of the city of Voronezh in
central Russia. Indeed, this is a mirror image of the fragment
of the photographic picture.
The mansion is an architectural monument and an object of
cultural heritage of the Russian Federation listed under number
3600268000 so that registration of the claimed designation as a
means of individualisation of the applicant's goods claimed in
the trade mark application would contradict the public
The applicant did not agree with the reasoning of the patent
office. He argued that the picture of the ladies against the
background of the mysterious mansion creates a most favourable
impression on the viewer. It elicits thoughts of mystique, of
some secret. He added that the artistic part of the claimed
designation is represented by a fragment of a painting authored
by Oksana Andreeva, a painter who drew the picture to order of
the applicant. The contract with the painter had been submitted
earlier by the applicant.
He also argued that the claimed designation is a realisation
of the creative artistic idea and not an accurate photographic
reproduction of the architectural object existing in reality.
The picture is the result of intellectual efforts of the
painter. He stressed the fact that the image of the towers in
the background does not dominate in the designation and the
attention of the viewer is concentrated on the two ladies shown
in the forefront. Those two ladies sitting in the garden are
the key elements in the claimed designation.
The figurative element in the claimed designation is
semantically supported by the word element "Nobility Mansion".
The image of the towers of the castle implies mystery and makes
the consumer think where those ladies came from.
The board of the Chamber of Patent Disputes was not
convinced by the applicant's arguments and pointed out that one
of the conspicuous elements in the claimed designation is the
figurative element which is a fragment of castle with towers.
The word element "Princess Oldenburg's Palace" has little
importance in the claimed designation. It occupies an
insignificant place in the designation and can hardly be read
by the consumer. Even though it attracts less attention
considering the importance of the figurative elements it
nevertheless emphasises the perception of the designation as a
The palace of the Oldenburg family has the status of federal
cultural heritage under number 3600268000.
The building complex of the Oldenburg family is a coherent
monument of landscape and architecture; it is the only one in
central Russia whose owners were akin to the Emperor's
The Chamber of Patent Disputes has every reason to believe
that Oldenburg's Palace complex is a cultural heritage of the
Russian people and is treasured as a special cultural value of
the Russian Federation.
Article 36 of Federal law of 1996 "The Museums of the
Russian Federation" provides that production of printed
products, souvenirs and other large-scale products and consumer
goods with the use of images of museum exhibits and museum
collections, museum buildings, objects located on their
territory as well as the use of their names and symbols shall
be made on permission of the museum administration.
The documents on file do not contain such permission in the
name of the applicant. Hence the registration of the trade mark
was finally rejected.
It should be noted however that the above cultural
inheritance is not known to each and every person in Russia.
The applicant himself helped the examiner to reject his
application by making an inscription on the claimed
designation: "Princess Oldenburg's Palace." He directed the
examiner where to look for a citation which the examiner easily
did. The chances are the applicant would have easily obtained
registration without that word element. This however would not
have guaranteed his immunity against an interested person who
would have been able to cancel the trade mark if it interfered
with his business.
Gorodissky & Partners
Russia 129010, Moscow
B. Spasskaya Str
25, stroenie 3
Tel: +7 495 937 6116 / 6109
Fax: +7 495 937 6104 / 6123