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01 August 2022

IP Court upheld the legal protection of the trademark "MANZHER'OK"

Manzherok Tourist Complex LLC and the Manzherok All-Season Resort LLC (a client of Zuykov and Partners LLC) which companies located in the village of Manzherok in the Maiminsky District of the Altai Republic and providing tourism and hotel services are arguing for the possibility of possessing the exclusive right to trademarks with the word element Manzherok.


As we wrote earlier, the decision of the Court for Intellectual Property Rights dated 06/22/2022 in case No. SIP-1241/2021 confirmed the legality of the decision of Rospatent, by which the granting of legal protection to the trademark according to the certificate of the Russian Federation No. 713393 Turkompleks Manzherok, which belonged to Manzherok Tourist Complex LLC, was declared invalid in full since the trademark indicates the place of provision of services and consists exclusively of unprotected elements.


LLC Tourist Complex Manzherok, believing that for the same reasons the trademark 


according to the certificate of the Russian Federation No. 385960, owned by LLC "All-season resort" Manzherok", filed an objection with Rospatent. At the same time, pointing out the need to recognize this trademark as completely invalid, Manzherok Tourist Complex LLC referred that in the disputed trademark the unprotected verbal element "MANZHEROK" is dominant, occupies a central position, and therefore cannot be included in the contested designations as an unprotected element.


Having considered the objection, Rospatent came to the conclusion that since the company TK "Manzherok" and the company VK "Manzherok" are located in the specified settlement (geographical object), as a result of which the granting of exclusive rights to use the verbal element "MANZHEROK" to one of them in the course of its activities unacceptable. At the same time, Rospatent came to the conclusion that, since the disputed trademark is combined, it includes figurative and verbal individualizing elements, which equally influence the formation of the image of the mark, while an unprotected verbal element is perceived separately from each other. "MANZHER'OK" can be disclaimed while maintaining the legal protection of the trademark according to the certificate of the Russian Federation No. 385960.


Disagreeing with the conclusion of Rospatent, the company TK "Manzherok" applied to the Court for Intellectual Property Rights with a statement to recognize the non-normative legal act of Rospatent as invalid in terms of preserving the legal protection of the trademark. The applicant's main arguments boiled down to the applicant's disagreement with the Rospatent's conclusion that figurative and verbal elements equally influence the formation of the mark's image, since, from the applicant's point of view, these elements differ significantly in the type of execution, location in the mark, size and embedded they have semantic meanings. Thus, the TC Manzherok society believes that the verbal element "MANZHEROK" influences the formation of the image of the sign more than the pictorial element.


Within the framework of this case, Zuykov and Partners represented the interests of a third party - Manzherok All-Season Resort LLC, which is the copyright holder of the disputed trademark.


Having studied the case materials and the positions presented by the persons participating in the case, the panel of judges did not see any reason to disagree with the conclusions of Rospatent that the disputed trademark is an original and integral composition capable of performing the main individualizing function of a trademark - to distinguish the goods and services of one manufacturer or service provider from the goods and services of another manufacturer or service provider. At the same time, the court supported the position of Rospatent that the elements are perceived separately from each other and at the same time as parts of the overall composition, united by the use of blue in the pictorial element and the “ʹOK” part of the verbal element, indicating that the use of bright blue color emphasizes the attention of the consumer to the pictorial element, which is perceived as a continuation of the verbal element located under it since the trademark as a whole is associated with the highlands of the Altai Republic.

 

Thus, on 07/20/2022, the Intellectual Property Rights Court made a decision in case No. SIP-436/2022, in which the requirements of Manzherok Tourist Complex LLC to invalidate the decision of Rospatent dated 04/09/2022, adopted as a result of considering an objection to the granting of legal protection to a trademark according to the certificate of the Russian Federation No. 385960, were left without satisfaction.


As a result of the decision taken by the court, Zuykov and Partners proved the legality of the decision made by Rospatent and upheld the legal protection trademark of the company "All-season resort" Manzherok".

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