Trademark invalidation

A registered Russian trademark may be challenged by any interested person:

  • on the basis of “absolute” grounds for refusal - during the whole trademark’s lifetime; and
  • on the basis of “relative” grounds - within five years from the publication date.

According to Russian law, a cancellation action based on absolute or relative grounds is to be filed with the Russian Patent and Trademark Office (Rospatent). The Rospatent decision is appealable to the Intellectual Property Court.

Sojuzpatent has decades of experience in all kinds of trademark disputes, representing either a trademark owner or an opposing party. In many cases, we help our clients to reach a favourable settlement.

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Russian Trademark invalidation
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What are the usual reasons for a trademark registration refusal in Russia?

What are the usual reasons for a trademark registration refusal in Russia?


Apart from so-called relative grounds for refusal (likelihood of confusion with other rights protected in Russia), there are four basic (absolute) grounds for rejecting a trademark application, namely:

  • the claimed designation lacks distinctiveness;
  • it contains misleading, confusing or deceptive elements;
  • it contains elements that are contrary to public policy or to accepted principles of morality;
  • it consists of official arms, flags or other state emblems.

The most relevant and often used reasons for objecting to an application are that the trademark at issue lacks distinctiveness or is misleading.


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Can importers bring to Russia products made in foreign countries and marked with that product manufacturer’s trademark registered in Russia, without consent of the manufacturer for the import?

Can importers bring to Russia products made in foreign countries and marked with that product manufacturer’s trademark registered in Russia, without consent of the manufacturer for the import?


Importation of goods bearing a trademark protected in Russia into the territory of the Russian Federation without the consent of the trademark owner constitutes a breach of the Russian legislation currently in force.

For more information on parallel importation, please refer to the Legislation News section.

Can a light be registered as a trademark in Russia?

Can a light be registered as a trademark in Russia?

In the Russian Federation, a light designation can be registered as a trademark.

If a light is applied for registration as a trademark in Russia, it will be necessary to provide a description of the light symbols, their sequence, duration of lighting, and some other features.  

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In what way does a trademark differs from a trade name, a logo, or a brand? What does registration result in – a trademark, a logo, or a brand?

In what way does a trademark differs from a trade name, a logo, or a brand? What does registration result in – a trademark, a logo, or a brand?


The words “brand”, “logo”, “label”, etc. are colloquial terms often used as synonyms for a trademark (service mark). Russian law instead uses only one legal definition – trademark (service mark). Thus, the registration of a designation with the patent office results in a trademark.

A trademark (service mark) is a designation used for individualization of goods (or services) of business entities or individual entrepreneurs, the IP rights to which belong to the trademark owner and are evidenced by a trademark certificate. In Russia trademarks can not be initially registered in the name of natural persons (individuals).

Trademarks can be in the form of a word, design, combination, three-dimensional shapes, sound marks etc. The owner of the trademark can indicate that it is registered and protected in Russia by placing one of these designations next to the trademark:
“R”, ®, “trademark”, “registered trademark”.

Without the trademark owner's permission, nobody shall use designations which are identical to the trademark or designations that are similar to the trademark, in respect of the goods for individualization of which the trademark is registered, or homogenous goods, if such use may result in confusion of customers.


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If my Russian trademark is illegally used in a domain name, do I have recourse to UDRP procedures in order to transfer the disputed domain name without litigation?

If my Russian trademark is illegally used in a domain name, do I have recourse to UDRP procedures in order to transfer the disputed domain name without litigation?


If the domain name is registered in one of the following generic Top-Level Domains (gTLDs): .com, .info, .net, .org, .biz, .name, .pro, .aero, .asia, .cat, .coop, .jobs, .mobi, .museum, .tel, .travel or in a new gTLD, your dispute may be resolved out of court on the base of the Uniform Domain-Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP).

However, UDRP or similar dispute resolution proceedings are not currently available for .ru domains. In such cases, there are no options apart from litigation in court if the administrator does not concede to the trademark holder’s demand.


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