Beer Brewery Is Fined for Unauthorized Use of FIFA Designations

Beer Brewing House Bavaria Company Group LLC was fined in December 2018 by the Federal antimonopoly Service (FAS) for 250 thousand rubles due to an unauthorized use of FIFA designation. The company advertised its subsidiaries’ products (beer) by offers via Internet to participate in a stimulating lottery with FIFA 2018 tickets as prizes. However, under a special law from June 2013 concerning FIFA Championship 2018, any sale, distribution or other realization of tickets may only be done under a contract with FIFA or its authorized subsidiaries. Besides, FIFA is an owner of a national trademark registration No. 600424 and an international trademark registration No.747778 for goods in 32 class and services in 35 and 41 classes of the Nice classification, including sale of tickets. With regards to these circumstances, the Federal Antimonopoly service has found the Company guilty of administrative fault and fined it under articles 14.6 of the Competition protection law and article 14.33 of the Administrative violations Code.

The Company filed a lawsuit against FAS decision with the Moscow Commercial Court, asking for cancellation thereof. The Court upheld the decision in April 2019, having deemed the actions of FAS to be based on duly discovered circumstances and legally justified. Appeals of the Company to the Ninth Court of Appeals and to the IP Court yielded no positive results. Both instances referred to the available information on a domain name owner and the Defendant having been its head organization. Failure to comply with competition protection legislation lead to sanctions against the group of companies as a whole.