Trademark Non-Use Justified by Economic Restrictions

05 September 2018

The Decision of the Court for Intellectual Property Rights on case No. SIP-601/2017 dated June 26, 2018 confirmed that governmental economic restrictions on imports into Russia serve as a valid reason to justify non-use of a trademark.

The above-mentioned decision was based on direct application of Article 19 of TRIPS Agreement, namely its provision that “import restrictions on or other government requirements for goods or services protected by the trademark” constitute an “obstacle to the use of the trademark”. Therefore, the non-use claim on early termination of the trademark in question was dismissed. On August 26, 2018, the term for appealing the decision expired.