The Intellectual Property Court denied the Modimio publishing house, which publishes magazines with collectible models of cars, which challenged the protection of trademarks of PJSC GAZ in relation to goods made of paper and cardboard. The court decided that the Kostroma company did not confirm its intentions to print magazines and produce models of GAZ trucks. In parallel with the publishing house, the Likinsky bus plant of the GAZ Group is suing, dissatisfied with the fact that the publishing house registered a sign that repeats the outlines of the plant’s logo.
In the intellectual property court, the proceedings on the early termination of the legal protection of trademarks of PJSC GAZ with the symbols of the Gorky Automobile Plant and logos – a stylized image of a deer on a shield, have ended. Such a claim regarding a class of goods made of paper and cardboard against GAZ was filed by Modimio LLC from Kostroma. The company produces collections of magazines with souvenirs on various topics – from trains and cars to coins, insects and minerals. As follows from the materials of the arbitration case, the publishing house planned to publish the next series of the magazine “Legendary Trucks of the USSR” and sought to register the symbols of the automobile plant with the abbreviation GAZ / GAZ for a number with souvenir models. Modimio last year received a claim from GAZ about the illegal use of symbols, but then sent its registration application to Rospatent.
The company explained this by the fact that GAZ has not used symbols in the production of printed materials for three years, and the company needs rights to publish a magazine about trucks.
The actions of Modimio and the lawsuit that followed from the company at the car factory were considered unfair competition aimed at making a profit from the misuse of GAZ symbols.
The auto holding owns the rights to 16 images with the abbreviation GAZ / GAZ used in car logos and company designations. GAZ lawyers referred to the fact that their well-known trademark with an abbreviation is used in related printed products: service books and machine operation manuals, as well as license agreements. In addition, the plant’s symbols are used in the corporate magazine Vremya mashin and the Avtozavodets newspaper, and in general, the designation GAZ is the company name of the holding and is associated with the consumer with cars of this brand, representatives of the car plant noted.
During the trial, it turned out that the Modimio company did not provide evidence of the preparation of the printing of the magazine with the symbols of GAZ, which it decided to register with Rospatent. The lawyers of the car factory proved that the symbolism in the Modimio application actually copies the corporate name of the company, which has exclusive rights to the car factory emblem in the class of production of cars and spare parts.
The court in the decision indicated that the Kostroma company did not independently develop the GAZ designation, but tried to create “an abstract interest and take advantage of the wide popularity of this designation.” Early termination of trademark protection cannot be used to obtain unjustified advantages at the expense of well-known brands, the judge noted. However, he also rejected the arguments of GAZ lawyers that the lawsuit against the car factory was filed for the misuse of trademarks for profit.
However, Modimio failed to terminate protection for 16 GAZ trademarks in the class of paper and cardboard products.
The company did not promptly respond to a request from Kommersant-Privolzhye about the prospects for further litigation. Earlier, the management of the publishing house called their lawsuits a response to claims from GAZ enterprises – they demanded a total of 300 million rubles from Modimio. compensation for the illegal use of trademarks on reduced collector’s models of cars and buses. Lawyers of the GAZ Group are actively litigating throughout Russia with manufacturers and sellers of souvenir cars – from individual entrepreneurs to large marketplaces like Wildberries.
This is due primarily to the fact that GAZ plans to independently produce souvenirs with its own symbols.
Now the intellectual rights court is also considering the suit of the Likino bus plant against the Modimio publishing house.
LiAZ asked to recognize as unfair competition the registration by the publishing house of a trademark resembling the outline of the plant’s logo. Obviously, the dispute is connected with the release of the Our Buses magazine. In addition, the Modimio publishing house earlier managed to partially terminate the protection of the trademark of the Kurgan Bus Plant (also part of the GAZ Group) in relation to goods of the “constructor, games” class in court.