Nov 9, 2022

Putin Trade Mark Laws to the Test

Amidst the western sanctions placed on Russia following the invasion of Ukraine, the head of the state, Vladimir Putin has authorised parallel imports for various popular alcoholic drink brands.

Parallel imports (also known as “Grey Market” goods) are defined by the International Trade Mark Association as: “…Branded goods that are imported into a market and sold there without the trade mark owner’s consent in that market. The goods have been manufactured by or under licence of the brand owner and therefore are not counterfeit, but they may have been formulated or packaged for a particular jurisdiction and are imported into a different jurisdiction in contradiction to the brand owner’s intention.”

The legislation passed by Putin will allow for Grey Market goods to be imported into the country through countries that are sympathetic to Russia following the invasion of Ukraine back in February. Such countries include Turkey, Kazakhstan, and China. The aim of the legislative change is to prevent a shortage of products that are presently unavailable on the Russian market.

Scotch Whiskey is particularly popular in Russia, with Russia being the 10th largest consumer of the product last year. A spokesperson for Scotch Whiskey claimed the Company is closely monitoring the situation, passing relevant guidance on exports to its member.

Parallel imports were previously illegal in Russia, though counterfeit goods are still illegal. Grey Market goods must be legally put into circulation from the country of import.

If you have any questions on the above, please do not hesitate to contact the team at McDaniels Law on 0191 281 4000 or legal@mcdanielslaw.com

in: Civil Procedure, Companies, Consumer Law, EU/International, Legal News, News, Regulatory, Trade Marks

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