MOSCOW, March 16 - RAPSI. The Supreme Commercial Court will hear on April 24 a court ruling on the lawfulness of the Federal Service for Intellectual Property, Patents and Trademarks' registration of the Vacheron Constantin brand for an offshore company.

Vacheron Constantin was incorporated on September 17, 1755. It designed the first nonmagnetic watch in 1885. The company was acquired in 1996 by the Richemont Group, which owns the Cartier, Ralph Lauren Watches, Vacheron Constantin, A.Lange and Sohne trademarks.

The patent authority registered Tessir Partners Ltd. (BVI) as the holder of the Vacheron Constantin trademark.

The Moscow Commercial Court and the Ninth Commercial Court of Appeals held against lawsuits filed by the major luxury item manufacturers Switzerland Richemont International S.A. and Vasheron and Konstantin S.A. on March 5 and May 26 to quash the patent agency's decision to protect the Vacheron Constantin trademark.

The Moscow District Federal Commercial Court upheld the lower courts' judgments.

The claimants insist that the average Russian consumer will associate the "Vacheron Constantin" phrase when used on clothing with the Swiss watchmaker. However, the patent authority found the argument insufficient.