Russia’s patent agency upholds denial of Alcoholics Anonymous brand registration
MOSCOW, January 29 (RAPSI) – The Chamber for Patent Disputes has upheld an earlier Russian Federal Agency for Intellectual Property, Patents and Trademarks (Rospatent) decision to refuse registration of American Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc. brand A.A., the agency records read.
The applicant appealed against a Rospatent decision of January 28, 2019.
According to Alcoholics Anonymous, the designation A.A. it sought to register was well-known not only in Russia, but also worldwide, as it was an acronym of the name of the organization; in Russia the brand has been used since mid-1980s, mostly with respect to printed materials. Yet another argument was that the applicant owned the Alcoholics Anonymous trademark in Russia and in many other countries.
Nevertheless, Rospatent dismissed the application saying that the designation was just a combination of letters without original graphical design lacking any additional level of perception different from the perception of its individual elements, neither of which was under patent protection.
Moreover, the applicant failed to present sufficient evidence that the designation had acquired distinctiveness in Russia as it had submitted only reference materials in support of its position; any data on the volumes of production and sales were also lacking, the patent agency said at that time. Rospatent also refused to take into account the fact that the designation was registered in other countries, since those had their own national requirements not applicable in Russia.