TEĀTRA vs. ТЕАТРАЛЪНАЯ trademark dispute - judgement of the Riga Regional Court
On October 20, 2013 A/S Laima (hereinafter - the Plaintiff) represented by the Patent Law Bureau PĒTERSONA PATENTS brought an action before the Riga Regional Court against the Russian company ROT-FRONT claiming invalidation of the international trademark registration No. WO 963517 "ТЕАТРАЛЪНАЯ" in Latvia. The Plaintiff also claimed termination and prohibition of unlawful use of the trademark "ТЕАТРАЛЪНАЯ" in commercial activities or any other trademarks which are identical or similar to the trademark "TEĀTRA" which has been earlier used in Latvia by the Plaintiff.
The main arguments for the action to the Court were the following:
- the trademark "ТЕАТРАЛЪНАЯ" (reg. No. WO 963517) which is registered with respect to the goods in Class 30, including, confectionery, is confusingly similar to the Plaintiff's earlier trademark "TEĀTRA" (fig.) (reģ. Nr. M 63 845) and also similar to the unregistered but used word mark "TEĀTRA". The trademark "TEĀTRA" has been used in Latvia for so long and in such extent that it has acquired recognition among the Latvian consumers.
- the Defendant had applied the trademark "ТЕАТРАЛЪНАЯ" for registration with respect to Latvia in bad faith.
Taking into account the arguments, observations and evidence filed by the parties in this case, the Court acknowledged that the Plaintiff has rights to an unregistered trademark "TEĀTRA" that has been used in fair commercial activities in Latvia for a long time with respect to confectionery. The Court admitted that the trademark "TEĀTRA" has been used in Latvia in such amount and extent that the use of the Defendant's trademark "ТЕАТРАЛЪНАЯ" in Latvia may mislead the consumers regarding the origin of the goods. The Court also agreed that the Defendant had registered the trademark "ТЕАТРАЛЪНАЯ" in Latvia in bad faith.
The Court decided the following:
- to invalidate the international trademark registration No. WO 963517 "ТЕАТРАЛЪНАЯ" in Latvia with respect to confectionery, including, candies, chocolate and chocolate products.
- to oblige the Defendant to terminate and prohibit the unlawful use of the trademark "ТЕАТРАЛЪНАЯ" (reg. No. WO 963517) in commercial activities, as well as marks which are identical or confusingly similar to the unregistered trademark "TEĀTRA" and marks which are a confusingly similar reproduction, imitation, translation or transliteration of this trademark with respect to confectionery, especially, candies.
- to recover from the Defendant the litigation expenses in favor of the Plaintiff in the amount of EUR 915.34