Tele2 in Russia: what will happen to the brand after expiration of the contract with copyright holder?
The contract with the Swedish company Tele2 AB for the use of the Tele2 brand expires in September 2023 for the Russian telecom operator Tele2. At the same time, the Russian Tele2 notes that the company does not plan to rebrand.
Fredrik Hollston, a representative of the Swedish Tele2, said that the company does not plan to renew the permission to use the brand after the expiration date. Trademark rights do not affect the operator's use of a license to provide communication services, so after the expiration of the contract with the Swedish company, the Russian operator will be able to continue to serve clients.
The right to use the brand expires on the day after the last day of the contract, unless other conditions are specified in the contract, says patent attorney, managing partner of Zuykov and partners Sergey Zuykov. According to him, the license agreement regulates the financial conditions, but the copyright holder can allow the brand to be used even in words, without a registered license agreement.
That is, the parties can provide for a transitional period for the completion of contractual relations. Another interlocutor of Vedomosti believes that if the issue does not have a peaceful resolution under an agreement or an additional agreement, the Russian company has the opportunity to challenge the rejection of the brand in court, which is likely to decide the case in favor of the operator, given the sanctions against Tele2 shareholder Rostelecom.
After the expiration of the contract in the near future, the Swedish company may file a lawsuit to ban the use of the Tele2 brand and demand double the cost of the license fee, continues Sergey Zuykov. According to his estimates, it will be about collecting compensation in the amount of several tens of millions of dollars. At the moment, there is no legislative or judicial prohibition on going to court to protect the rights of copyright holders from unfriendly countries.
According to Vedomosti, Rostelecom earned 580.1 billion rubles in 2021. The company's subscriber base amounted to 47.5 million users.