Pepeliaev Group’s IP Practice has defended Drinks from Chernologovka - Aqualife in a dispute against Coca-Cola

Pepeliaev Group’s team from the Intellectual Property and Trademarks Practice has successfully defended Drinks from Chernologovka - AQUALIFE LLC in its dispute against The Coca-Cola Company. 

The FANTOLA trademark owned by our client was registered on 17 May 2019 with respect to the following goods: “mineral and carbonated waters and other soft drinks; fruit drinks and fruit juices; syrups and other compositions for producing beverages”.

However, on 17 May 2021 Rospatent received an objection filed by The Coca-Cola Company against granting legal protection to the above trademark, justifying such objection by confusing similarity with the FANTA trademark. The Coca-Cola Company also insisted that registration of the trademark may mislead consumers as to who is the producer of the products.

The Coca-Cola Company justified these arguments by the fact that the FANTA trademark has long been known in the market and the appearance of the FANTOLA trademark in the market will be perceived by consumers as an extension of The Coca-Cola Company's product line.

Rospatent dismissed the objection. Disagreeing with the decision, the applicant appealed to the Intellectual Property Court.

The lawyers of the practice, under the guidance of partner Valentina Orlova, developed a legal position in court on the part of Drinks from Chernologovka - AQUALIFE LLC and reinforced that position with a sociological survey as well as an expert opinion. In addition, our team analysed The Coca-Cola Company’s position and provided the court with detailed explanations as to how it was inconsistent with the materials and documents available in the case file.

Therefore, comparative reviews filed by The Coca-Cola Company of drinks under the FANTA and FANTOLA trademarks were commissioned by The Coca-Cola Company itself. In turn, consumer opinions in the Internet, contrary to The Coca-Cola Company’s assertion, evidenced that consumers differentiate drinks under the trademarks being compared and do not associate the FANTOLA trademark with The Coca-Cola Company.

Having analysed all the materials of the court case, the Intellectual Property Court agreed with the arguments of the representatives of Drinks from Chernologovka - AQUALIFE LLC and dismissed The Coca-Cola Company's claims, while the legal protection of the FANTOLA trademark remained in force.

The decision of the Intellectual Property Court was upheld by the Presidium of the Intellectual Property Court.


Valentina Orlova

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