In a recent decision of the Russian IP Court, a lawsuit to cancel TM registrations for “Love Is…” owned by Minikim Holland B.V. has been dismissed
In the decision in November 2022, The IP Court supported the position of Minikim Holland B.V. whose TM registrations Nos 639976 and 722689 for “Love Is…” were objected by sole entrepreneur Vasily Levchenko as acts of unfair competition. The Claimant argued that the designations became known in Russia long before their priority dates and that he himself used these designations before their filing dates in Russia. In the Claimant’s opinion, the TM registrations in 2017 and 2019 were done in bad faith and not for Defendant’s commercial purposes, but solely for creating basis for infringement actions.
TM 722689 https://new.fips.ru/registers-doc-view/fips_servlet?DB=RUTM&DocNumber=722689&TypeFile=html*
all trademarks are property of their respective owners
TM 639976 https://new.fips.ru/registers-doc-view/fips_servlet?DB=RUTM&DocNumber=639976&TypeFile=html*
These registrations, in his opinion, are an obstacle for his commercial activity as a seller of clothes and souvenirs marked by disputed designation and shall be canceled.
In the decision in November 2022, The IP Court supported the position of Minikim Holland B.V. who presented evidence confirming that TMs have been actively used to this day, increasing its popularity and distinctiveness among consumers throughout the world, including Russia. Further, the Court ruled that there was no evidence of unfair competition between the Claimant and the Defendant.
As for designation in question, it became known in 1970s from a series of comics strips, whose author was a spouse of the Defendant’s founder, while the Claimant started his activity as a sole entrepreneur in 2015, later than priority of RU 639976 trademark, which rules out a possible competition as such, much less an unfair one. Therefore, the lawsuit was dismissed while the Individual Entrepreneur Mr. Levchenko and his company “Vsemarket” was obliged to pay Minikim Holland a compensation the fine in amount of 1375400 roubles.
* all trademarks are property of their respective owners