Kalashnikov brand name case to be reconsidered
MOSCOW, September 28 (RAPSI) – Russia’s Supreme Court has upheld the Intellectual Property Court’s decision to reconsider a lawsuit filed by the firearms maker Kalashnikov Concern against the company M. T. Kalashnikov, a firm established by the designer of the AK-47 assault rifle, RAPSI learnt in the court on Monday.
The Kalashnikov Concern is suing for the early termination of legal protection of the defendant’s trademark in Russia. The trademark includes the image of a Kalashnikov rifle and the name “AK-47” for such goods as toys and games. The plaintiff is requesting termination of legal protection due to the brand not being used by the right holder. Kalashnikov Concern is interested in obtaining the rights because it produces full-scale models of weapons, including the AK-47.
The disputed trademark was registered by M.T. Kalashnikov in 2004, and its legal protection was extended in late 2012 through 2022, according to patent agency Rospatent. It also covers clothes, headgear, toys, gaming machines and table games that bear the Kalashnikov logo.
The ruling in favor of the designer’s family was made on December 23, 2014. The Presidium of the Intellectual Property Court said that the trademark was used by the rights holder (defendant) and other individuals, including for the production of АК-47 airsoft replicas. At that time the court ruled that there was no reason to terminate the legal protection of the logo.
Also, in May, the Presidium of the Intellectual Property Court overturned a lower instance court ruling against the concern’s lawsuit, and returned the case for a second review.
The cassation instance of the Intellectual Property Court ruled that the lower court had failed to investigate and duly assess one of the plaintiff’s arguments that, by selling commercial strike-ball machines, the defendant was not using its own modified trademark, but that, rather, it was using the world-famous Kalashnikov assault rifle depicted on the defendant’s trademark.
The first instance of the Intellectual Property Court has already started reexamining the case, and the next hearings are scheduled for October.
According to BIR Analitik, the information analysis system at Prime, a business news agency, M.T. Kalashnikov was established in 1999 by Mikhail Kalashnikov, the designer of the famous rifle, his daughter and grandson, and it planned to focus on photography.
Mikhail Kalashnikov was 94 when he died on December 23, 2013.
Kalashnikov Concern is an association of the largest companies in the Russian small arms industry. It was established in 2013 and includes Izhmash, the Izhevsk Mechanical Plant, the Vyatskie Polyany Machine Building Plant Molot, the Koshkin Automatic Lines Design Bureau (Klimovsk) and NITI Progress (Izhevsk).
The group exports its products to 27 countries including the United States, the UK, Germany, Norway, Italy, Canada, Kazakhstan and Thailand.