Russian court contemplates terminating Starbucks trademark rights

(MENAFN) In a significant development, the current owners of the Starbucks chain in Russia have initiated legal proceedings to terminate the trademark rights held by the American coffee giant.

Entrepreneur Anton Pinsky, in collaboration with rapper and businessman Timati, filed a claim with Russia's intellectual property rights court seeking to revoke the legal protection of Starbucks' trademarks.

The court document, posted on the information portal Digital Justice, reveals that the claim was submitted on April 12. This move comes after Starbucks exited the Russian market in 2022 due to Western sanctions related to the Ukraine conflict. Pinsky and Timati subsequently acquired the assets of Starbucks in Russia, including rental agreements for all 130 coffee shops and the employment contracts of 2,000 workers. They rebranded the establishments as "Stars Coffee" and replaced the iconic mermaid logo with an image of a girl wearing a traditional Russian 'kokoshnik' headdress.

The legal claim targets seven trademarks associated with Starbucks, registered between 2003 and 2014. Despite the expiration periods of the exclusive rights to these trademarks being extended, with validity until 2033, the plaintiffs argue for their termination due to non-use.

Specifically, the request seeks to revoke trademark protection for services such as restaurants, cafes, cafeterias, snack bars, and coffee shops.

If successful, this legal maneuver could have significant implications for Starbucks' brand presence and operations in Russia. It underscores the ongoing transformation of the coffee market landscape in the country and highlights the complexities surrounding intellectual property rights in the context of ownership changes and rebranding efforts.



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