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United Confectioners loses Icebreaker trademark in Hershey dispute

By Oliver Nieburg+

30-Apr-2014
Last updated on 30-Apr-2014 at 13:52 GMT

Russian court rules in favor of Hershey's Ice Breakers (pictured)
Russian court rules in favor of Hershey's Ice Breakers (pictured)

Russia’s intellectual property court has cancelled United Confectioners’ IceBReAKeR trademark following a clash with Hershey.

The court yesterday upheld an earlier decision to rescind United Confectioners’ IceBReAKeR trademark, which belonged to the company’s Red October subsidiary.

Hershey successfully argued that Red October (Krasny Oktyabar) had infringed Hershey’s Russian trademark for ICE BREAKERS. The US firm said that it was preparing to supply its Ice Breakers gum and mint brand on Russian territory.

Hershey welcomes the decision

Jeff Beckman, director of corporate communications at Hershey, told ConfectioneryNews: “Hershey is pleased with the Russian court’s decision upholding the cancellation of the Krasny Oktyabar registration. This decision is important because Ice Breakers is an iconic brand and one of the key global brands in our product portfolio.”  

Red October was contacted for comment but failed to respond before publication.

Hershey proposed to settle its dispute with Red October if the factory gave up the IceBReAKeR trademark, registered in in 1996, but this was rejected as it was argued Hershey had no intention to make use of its own ICE BREAKERS mark.           

Will Hershey break the ice in Russia?

Court documents suggested that Hershey was preparing to sell Ice Breakers in Russia, but Beckman did not confirm the company’s intentions in the country.

United Confectioners operates 19 confectionery plants in Russia and commands an 18% share of the domestic chocolate market, joint top with Mars, according to Leatherhead Food Research. 

JSC Red October is one of the former Soviet factories held by part state-owned Russian firm United Confectioners.

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