The Ministry of Defense was opposed to trademark “Red army” registration and lost
The Rospatent dismissed a complaint of the Ministry against the registration of trademarks of “Zuykov & Partners” LLC' client.
The Collegium of the Federal Services for Intellectual Property considered the objections filed by the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation against granting legal protection to trademarks No. 435594, No. 401140, the right holder of which is the Regional public Fund of support of Cultural center of Ministry of Internal Affairs and Academic song and dance ensemble of internal troops of Ministry of Internal Affairs. Interests of the right holder were represented by patent attorneys of the company “Zuykov & Partners” LLC.
Trademarks are registered in respect of services of class 41 of International Classification of Goods and Services (services in the field of entertainment).
The Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation, objecting to the granting of legal protection to these trademarks referred, in particular, that "Red Army" is the official name of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, and this phrase was included in the trademarks without its consent; the image of a shield with a sword and the ribbon is the emblem of the Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation, which cannot be used in trademarks; use of the phrases "Russian internal troops of the Ministry of Internal Affairs " and "Red Army" "...can mislead the consumer concerning the goods or its manufacturer, as the internal troops of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Russian Federation constitute a separate unit and have no relation to the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation and the Russian Ministry of Defense that causes harm to the positive image of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation"; the actions of the right holder directed "...to increase the popularity of the police services, to strengthen the positive image of Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Russian Federation, for the benefit of the service in the internal Affairs of the Russian Federation, not in the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, therefore, the actions of the ensemble of Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Russian Federation are contrary to the customs of business turnover, requirements of rationality and justice..." etc.
The Board of Rospatent rejected the applicant's arguments and agreed with the position of the owner, prepared and declared by patent attorneys of the company “Zuykov & Partners” LLC.: so, the Board confirmed that The Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation is not empowered to carry out business, whereby his rights cannot be affected by the fact of registration of any trademark. The Board also didn’t find the possibility of collision of rights and interests of the Ministry of Defense and of the right holder over the disputed trademarks or similar signs on the market of rendering of services in class 41. Therefore, the Ministry of Defense is not an interested party to disputing these trademarks. In addition to this, the Board agreed with the argument that neither the phrase "Red Army" or the emblem of the Federal Security Service of Russia are not the symbols of state or any official designations, therefore, their use is not contrary to the requirements of the civil legislation of the Russian Federation.
The Board also didn't find evidences that "Red Army" is the official name of the Armed Forces, and indicated that currently the "Red Army" is a fantasy notion and a collective image, "...to whom can be attributed all military ("power") units, previously and now standing on the defense of the Fatherland".
In any case, this phrase in trademarks does not dominate and not be the primary individual load. In addition, trademark is an abbreviation of Internal troops of the Ministry of internal Affairs, a direct reference to the artistic Director of the ensemble - General Eliseev, therefore, trademarks may not be perceived by Russian consumers as a means of identification of another person which had no relation to Internal troops of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the ensemble.
The Board of Rospatent dismissed the objections of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation. Thus, a patent attorney of the company “Zuykov & Partners” LLC successfully defended the client's interests (Regional public Fund of support of Cultural center of the Ministry of internal Affairs and the Academic song and dance ensemble of internal troops of the Ministry of internal Affairs) and its trademark rights.