09 January 2023

Stoloto fights over registration of the trademark Scratch lotto

On February 6, the IP Court will consider the application of the distributor of lottery tickets Technological Company Center (Stoloto brand).

The company is trying to challenge the decision of Rospatent to refuse to register a trademark. This is a combined designation with the words Scratch lotto. The conclusion states that the verbal elements of Scratch lotto are not subject to protection, since "they do not have a distinctive ability and occupy a dominant position in the declared designation." Stoloto objected that Rospatent had already registered a similar trademark according to certificate No. 454774 (the term of protection of the Smartgames Holdings Limited trademark ended in October 2020). Rospatent argued that it was impossible to register a designation for the classes associated with lotteries, since the words “scratch lotto” are used to refer to a type of lottery.

"Scratch lotto" is an instant lottery using tickets with an opaque, easily washable protective layer. Instant lotteries are considered one of the fastest growing market segments. Stoloto is already developing ten instant lotteries under the brands Sports Season, Forward to Victory, and others.

The fact that Rospatent has previously registered a similar trademark does not obligate to anything in the present, says Yury Fedyukin, managing partner of Enterprise Legal Solutions. “I would call the odds rather low, since the designation “scratch lotto” is really just a description in English with a transcription into Russian of the general mechanism for interacting with a lottery ticket, used by other lottery organizers,” he says. Sergey Zuykov, managing partner of Zuykov and partners, agrees: “There is a possibility that the IP court will cancel the decision of Rospatent, since it could register a mark for goods of the 16th class - cardboard and paper products. But Stoloto does not really need these goods.”

If Rospatent's decision cannot be challenged in court, Stoloto may try to get protection again by providing evidence of the widespread use of the claimed designation, including confirming the results of a sociological survey, says Yulia Yarnykh, a partner at Semenov & Pevzner. To increase the chances of registration of the designation, it can be finalized, added Kristina Vozhennikova, a lawyer at Intellectual Capital. “One more fragment should be added to the words “scratch” and “lotto”, so that it is not dominant in the designation, and the chances of registration will increase,” she said.

Source: Kommersant Publishing House

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