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Published: 15 november 2012 08:58

Lithuanian courts to give their opinion on 'Sovetskoye'

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Tomo Urbelionio/BFL nuotr. / Champagne

Lithuanian courts will have to give their opinion on whether the word "Sovetskoye", which became a generic term for sparkling wine in the Soviet times, can be regarded as a non-protected brand, the country's Supreme Court has ruled.

The Supreme Court made the decision on 8 November after hearing a trademark dispute between the Kaunas-based alcohol producer Boslita ir Ko and its Latvian competitor Latvijas Balzams.

The dispute arouse after the Lithuanian State Patent Bureau registered the Sovetskoye Polusladkoye trademark in 2004 at Latvijas Balzams' request and Boslita ir Ko filed a complaint.

The Supreme Court said that the dispute cannot be resolved unless there is courts' opinion about the Sovetskoye element of the trademark.

Boslita ir Ko says that the brand "Sovetskoye" is a reproduction of and is likely to be confused with sparking wine labels long and widely used in the former Soviet Union. The Lithuanian company says that the sign is associated, both in special literature and in consumers' minds, with Sovetskoye Shampanskoye (Soviet Champagne) sparkling wine.

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