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Commercial Litigation Weekly Calendar (May 21 - 25)

09:45 21/05/2012

Monday, May 21

INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY

Tekhnoservice vs Playboy Enterprises

Moscow Commercial Court

Ufa-based Tekhnoservice seeks premature termination of the Playboy trademark's legal protection in Russia. Plaintiff claims that Playboy Enterprises does not use its trademark for the production of a number of goods while other entities could use it instead. The patent agency was attracted as a third party.

TRADEMARK INFRINGEMENT

GM Daewoo Auto and Technology CIS vs Federal Antimonopoly Service

Ninth Commercial Court of Appeals

GM Daewoo Auto and Technology CIS, General Motors subsidiary, seeks to reverse the antimonopoly watchdog's decision on the unlawful use of Olympic symbols.

The Federal Antimonopoly Service claimed that the company was engaged in unfair competition by using the Olympic symbols to sell Chevrolet cars. The violation boiled down to the company naming a Chevrolet car color, "Olympic white." The company was fined 23.27 million rubles ($735,000). Moscow Commercial Court found the fine lawful in February, the company filed an appeal against the judgment.

BANKRUPTCY

In Re Taganrog Automobile Plant (TagAZ)

Rostov Region Commercial Court

TagAZ filed for bankruptcy on April 6. The plant's debt burden increased to 20 billion rubles ($677.86 million) after production dropped three times in 2009. In 2010, the plant managed to agree with most of its creditors on debt restructuring except VTB bank. TagAZ owed the bank 5.8 billion rubles ($196.5 million).

Tuesday, May 22

ADMINISTRATIVE LAW

Jehovah's Witnesses administrative center vs Watchdog

Moscow District Federal Commercial Court

Watchdog (The Federal Service for Supervision of Communications, Information Technology and Mass Media) banned the distribution of the Awake! and Watchtower magazines, published by Jehovah's Witnesses, in Russia. Some of the published stories were found extremist. The plaintiff seeks to cancel the ban.

CIVIL LAW

Vesta investment company vs Yukos Capital S.a.r.l.

Moscow Commercial Court

Vesta investment company, Rosneft shareholder, is seeking to invalidate four loan contracts worth $377.03 million between Luxemburg's Yukos Capital S.a.r.l and Yuganskneftegaz.

According to Vesta, the loans in dispute were issued to Yuganskneftegaz, former YUKOS subsidiary taken over by Rosneft, in breach of law.

Wednesday, May 23

INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY

Parfumeria XXI Veka (XXI Century Perfume) vs Patent Service

Moscow Commercial Court

The Russian perfume producer is trying to register the AVATAR perfume brand. The company filed a lawsuit disputing the decision of the patent service, which refused to register the trademark. The reason for the refusal was the fact that it displays the name of the famous movie directed by James Cameron.

INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY

Fusion Technics vs Patent Agency

Moscow Commercial Court

The Hong Kong-based Fusion Technics seeks to terminate Casio trademark legal protection in Russia.

Casio trademark is owned by the Japanese Casio Keisanki Kabushiki Kaisha, also known as Casio Computer Co. Fusion Technics requested the Russian patent service (Rospatent) in January 2011 to terminate trademarks legal protection as the owner did not use it for the past three years.

The patent service agreed with the plaintiff’s arguments, but kept Casio Keisanki Kabushiki Kaisha’s rights to own the brand for calculators, projectors, cameras, adapters and electronic translating devices.

Thursday, May 24

INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY

Google Inc. vs Weblink Ltd.

Moscow Commercial Court

Google Inc. has filed a lawsuit against Weblink Ltd. The plaintiff seeks to prohibit the defendant from using the googl.ru and gugl.ru domains. The court has already set interim measures in the lawsuit and banned the transfer of the disputed domains to third parties. Weblink Ltd. is registered in Belize.

COMPETITION

Metro Cash & Carry vs Federal Antimonopoly Service

Moscow Commercial Court

Metro Cash & Carry's claims to invalidate the antitrust watchdog's ruling which states that the wholesaler discriminates against suppliers of fish and fish derivatives.
In November the Federal Antimonopoly Service declared Metro Cash & Carry in breach of trade laws for tying the cost of promotion to the product turnover. The watchdog claims that this creates discriminatory conditions and goes against the law on trading regulation.

Friday, May 25

DEBT RECOVERY

Gazprombank vs Vyborg Shipyard

Moscow Commercial Court

Gazprombank seeks to recover from Vyborg Shipyard, one of the largest shipbuilding companies in Russia, debt under a credit contract, including $123.99 million in primary debt. Earlier, the defendant requested the court to postpone the case, as the parties were holding talks on its peaceful settlement.

CONTRACTUAL OBLIGATIONS

NLMK vs Nikolai Maximov

Moscow Commercial Court

Novolipetsk Iron & Steel Corporation (NLMK) requests to invalidate the Maxi-Group's stock purchase. The company also demands that Nikolai Maximov, Maxi-Group founder and metal tycoon, return $224.06 million.

NLMK said earlier that that the company was misled by Maximov as he withheld information about Maxi-Group's debt and looming bankruptcy. The steel company noted that Maxi-Group was actually insolvent at the time of the deal.

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