According to Rospatent, in Russia, starting since 2014, at least 60 thousand applications for the registration of trademarks are filed annually, and in 2018, this figure reached the mark of 76,062 trademarks. All these designations have their right holder, and some of them are also used by other legal entities on the basis of the license or franchise agreement.
Article 1485 of the Civil Code of the Russian Federation, which states that the trademark is registered and protected in accordance with the norms of the Russian legislation, testifies that the designation consists: “...of the Latin letter “R” or of the Latin letter “R” being in a circumference or of the word designation ”trademark” or “registered trademark.” At the same time, it is indicated in the Civil Code that the holder of a means of individualization is entitled to place the said certifying mark, and, therefore, affixing such designation is not a mandatory procedure. At the first glance, it seems that it is easy to identify the right holder of the trademark, because the package contains a reference to the manufacturer that is likely possessing the trademark. However, this is not the case, due to the prevalence of an integrated manufacture of the products. In this case, the raw materials are obtained by one company, the package is manufactured by another company, and the product is assembled into a whole piece by a third company. In this case, it is permissible to mention several companies on the package, while it is quite unnecessary for one of them to be the right holder of the trademark, for example, if the designation is used on the basis of the license agreement.
Why it will be necessary to identify a right holder of the trademark
The cases, in which the information about the holder of the designation will be useful are usually as follows:
How to identify a right holder of the trademark
As it turned out, it is usually not possible to identify the holder of the trademark judging from the information placed on the package of the product. Yes, the cases, when the company indicates directly to the fact that it possesses the exclusive rights are possible. But in the majority of cases, the very product does not contain such information.
The Rospatent’s website has the Register of the Registered Trademarks and Service Marks. This is a public document, however, carrying out a search using it is quite difficult, since it requires knowing a number of the document, such as the trademark or the application. A more convenient search system operates in an open access mode on the website of Zuykov and Partners. To carry out the search, it is enough to enter the name of the mark and to select an intended class of the ICGS regarding which the designation is registered. This service operates only on the basis of a database of the registered trademarks.
In the case, when the right holder’s search is carried out at the stage of a preliminary registration of the designation, it is also advised to carry out a complete search, which includes the database of the applications containing the similar designations. At the request of a client, the lawyers of Zuykov and Partners, while using their specialized resources, carry out an advanced search, which allows finding the similar trademarks and/or applications, identifying their right holders, and, if necessary, assessing the chances to the registration of the trademark.