Fighting against bad-faith distributors / Article / Legal Insight
When famous fashion brands that sell products in Russia through a distributor attempt to replace the latter, it is not uncommon for such brands to identify that the distributor has registered a trademark identical to the rightholder’s trademark or a confusingly similar trademark, without obtaining consent to this.
Moreover, the former intermediary, as the holder of an exclusive right to the trademark in Russia, may demand that either a distribution agreement or an agency agreement should be concluded with it under the threat of filing a claim for the infringement of a right to the trademark in Russia or that a fee be paid to it for waiving such right.
Such brands as SCOTCH & SODA (Netherlands — a distributor in Poland), Disquared2 (Italy — a distributor in China) and Lafei-Nier (China — a distributor in Russia) had such problems with their trademarks.
How can a foreign rightholder protect itself in such a situation?
Anna Zabrotskaya, Head of Dispute Resolution and Fashion & Lux, together with Polina Semina, Paralegal at Borenius Russia, have prepared an overview of the options for fighting against bad-faith distributors for the April issue of magazine Legal Insight.