Law changes proposed for former Soviet confectionery brands

By Oliver Nieburg contact

- Last updated on GMT

Confectionery brand Ptich’ye Moloko (pictured) could be at the center of the proposed changes to the law by Legislative Assembly of Primorsky Krai
Confectionery brand Ptich’ye Moloko (pictured) could be at the center of the proposed changes to the law by Legislative Assembly of Primorsky Krai

Related tags: Russia, Soviet union, Trademark, United confectioners

A territory in Far-Eastern Russia has proposed an amendment to federal law that would allow all ex-Soviet factories to once again produce confectionery goods they made before the USSR was dissolved.

If adopted it could have major implications for some former-Soviet factories now under the ownership of multinationals like Mondelez and Orkla.

United Confectioners trademarks

During the Soviet-era, each region had a confectionery factory which produced a series of state-approved recipes through brands such as Alyonka chocolate.

Most brands are now trademarked by the part-state owned and leading Russian chocolate firm United Confectioners.

Since changes to the law in 2007, United Confectioners has initiated dozens of lawsuits against alleged copycats. Before 2007, it had issued many licences to the owners of former-Soviet factories for a minimal fee under an oral agreement.

The Legislative Assembly of the province - Primorsky Krai - wrote to the State Duma (legislative house of Russia) calling for the law to revert to its 2007 status. State Duma received the letter on 10 August.

Court battle

The proposal comes amid an ongoing legal dispute between a former-Soviet factory in Primorsky Krai and United Confectioners.

Russian company Profit LLC, which owns the ex-Soviet factory, Primorsky Konditer, used to produce confectionery brand Ptich’ye Moloko (Bird’s Milk). But after the breakup of the Soviet Union, United Confectioners registered Bird’s Milk as a trademark, forcing the Primorsky Konditer factory to change its Ptich’ye Moloko brand name to Primorskay Ptichka (The Bird from Primor’ye).

United Confectioners claimed the name was too similar to its trademark, since it continued to reference a bird, and launched legal proceedings against Profit LLC, which could be liable for a large compensation payment if found guilty.

Related topics: Regulation & Safety, Chocolate

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