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Popular Russian “Ural dumplings” lost their trademark in court

“Ural dumplings” are very popular in Russia and their brand is recognizable. Therefore for them it was very important to keep control over trademark. But the last court decision has been concluded not in their favour. “Ural dumplings” LLC filed complaint to Moscow commercial court and asked to admit trademark agreement, concluded with First Hand Media LLC, as null and void. Ural dumplings wanted to get back their trademark.

First time the word mark has been registered by public organisation “Creative association “Ural dumplings”. Then this association has concluded agreement with Ural dumplings LLC and assigned exclusive rights in word mark. Thereafter Ural dumpling concluded agreement with First Hand media LLC and assigned exclusive rights in word mark to First Hand Media for 250 thousands Russian roubles. After that Ural Dumplings filed a suit, to get back their rights in word mark.

Plaintiffs argued that the last agreement was a major deal with interest; such deal required consent of all’ members Ural Dumplings LLC. They have even assessed their word mark and according to report, stating market value of mark, the price was 383 million Russian roubles at the moment of assignment. Moreover contested agreement has been signed by CEO of Ural Dumplings, who is also the member of First Hand Media.

Without word make Ural Dumplings were forced to cease live performances due to assignment agreement with First Hand Media. Ural dumplings also lost profitable offer from movie studio. This agreement has caused damages to Ural Dumplings. Plaintiffs also stated that First Hand Media, without consent of Ural Dumplings, has registered another combined trade mark which is confusingly similar to word mark. Therefore, according to Plaintiffs’ statement, thanks to assignment agreement, First Hand Media obtained two trademarks.

The court did not agree with plaintiffs. The plaintiffs have not provided evidence of interest in contestation of assignment agreement. The plaintiffs also have not shown what rights or legal interests would be recovered if the deal is admitted as null and void by the court. Trademark assignment agreement is not a major deal according to court; therefore the consent of all Ural’s member was not necessary.

Moreover the report, confirming assessment of word mark by plaintiffs, has been drafted in violation of Russian law on assessment activity. Plaintiffs did not provide the court with evidence confirming the value of assigned property under their accounting records when the property has been putted on the accounting records. The plaintiffs provided the court only with evidence of market value, which is different from value stated in accounting records. Defendant has obtained accounting records of plaintiffs. And according to these records the value of word mark is 8 thousands roubles at the last reporting date before the conclusion of contested agreement.