Wartime challenges for trade marks: how long will Russia continue to protect famous foreign marks?

Irene Calboli, Vera Sevastianova

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


Since Russia launched a military attack on Ukraine in early 2022, hundreds of foreign com-panies have left the Russian market, making lawyers wonder what may happen to these enti-Ties' trade marks in the country. There have not been any consistent actions from the Rus-sian state towards these assets so far, despite populists' statements and selected judges' hes-itance to enforce trade marks of companies from "unfriendly" states. Still, in the environ-ment of weakened rule of law, several private persons attempted to commercialize on fleeing brands by filing parasitic trade mark applica-Tions that copied or imitated foreign famous marks. On this background, the authors review current trends and describe what legal instruments in the international and national Russian law are at disposal of foreign owners to maintain protec-Tion and guarantee successful enforcement of their famous marks on the Russian territory. The main inference is that the functioning legal setting is in place with respect to trade marks, but the general unpredictability of conditions under the author-itarian Russian regime hints that private corrupt interests may prevail over foreign entities' rights at any moment. In addition, by comparing the present case with some historical examples involving limitations of aggressors' marks, it is important to remember that any restraints to trade marks of politically rival parties will, first and foremost, harm con-sumers and commercial actors, preventing the formation of a free market, which is for now anti-Thetical to the regime in Russia.

Original languageEnglish
Peer-reviewed scientific journalJournal of Intellectual Property Law and Practice
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)30-41
Number of pages12
Publication statusPublished - 23.01.2023
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article - refereed


  • 513 Law
  • trademark law
  • opportunistic behavior
  • Russia


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