Court of appeal rejects Rospatent’s complaint over Lacoste brand dispute
MOSCOW, December 19 (RAPSI) - The Ninth Commercial Court of Appeals has upheld the lower court order that granted legal protection to Lacoste’s international trademark, L.12.12, in Russia, a RAPSI correspondent reports from the courtroom.
The court of appeals rejected a complaint from the Federal Service for Intellectual Property, Patents and Trademarks (Rospatent) over the ruling of a Moscow commercial court. Last August, the ruling overturned Rospatent’s decision of February 5, 2013 that refused to grant legal protection to the brand and requested the company to rectify the breaches that were found. The brand was registered in 2010 as the plaintiff’s property with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) for soap, perfumes, leather, travel suitcases, umbrellas, clothes and shoes.
Lacoste applied to Rospatent for legal protection of the brand in Russia. However, the agency rejected the application. Along with the Chamber for Patent Related Disputes, it stated that the trademark consists of a letter and four figures that do not have any specific meaning and cannot be recognized as a word of any real language. The combination also has no recognizable graphic representation and therefore is not distinctive.
Lacoste argued that the brand has been widely used across the world since 1993. The company’s website contains a detailed history of how the L.12.12 trademark came about. Each element of the brand has a meaning and is used along with the trademark name and the crocodile logo.