Applications for copycats go abandoned or refused
In the spring of 2022, there were batches of applications for trademarks copying famous brands filed with the Russian PTO by different Russian applicants. The fears of legitimate right holders turned to be premature since such application either go abandoned or face citations of prior rights.
For example, a Sochi based company Trade technologies LLC filed 83 applications for such trademarks as Apple, Boeing, Chanel, Lamborghini and many others. Among these filings 51 applications have already faced Office Actions issued by examiners, while two are under formal examination due to non-payment of the official fees with the rest being under substantial examination with no results published so far, however, the outcome is very likely to be the same.
Another company that filed 30 applications for well-known trademarks such as Dior, Givenchy and others was Smart Beauty LLC located in Moscow. It was the publicity that the company seemed to aim the most, because filing and examination fees have not been paid on 26 out of them, which has already resulted in 18 decisions on recognition of applications abandoned, and similar decisions are expected shortly on the rest of them. As for the 4 applications where the fees have been paid, two have received Office Actions and two are still under examination.
Thus, among 113 of known applications filed by these two companies as of today there has been not a single registration decision issued by the PTO. Some applications go abandoned due to non-payment of the fees, whereas those that do proceed to examination receive Office Actions with grounds against registration of the claimed marks. These statistics are another disproof of the rumors about IP in Russia being in precarious position.
In April 2022 the head of the Russian PTO announced trademark examination to be carried out in accordance with the law regardless of the applicants’ country of origin. Prosecution practice shows that the Office has been staying this course.