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Russian court prevents company from using Putin’s KGB school pseudonym as a brand name

Russia’s Court for Intellectual Property Rights has rejected a lawsuit by the company “Intellect and Rights” attempting to overturn a patent office decision not to grant the company ownership over the brand “Pseudonym Platov.” The court’s decision indicates that the brand name was rejected because it uses a pseudonym that belonged to Russian President Vladimir Putin during his KGB training years.

Russia’s federal patent office, Rospatent, found that the name is “inextricably tied to the head of state” and would therefore lend Intellect and Rights an unfair advantage on the market. The company responded in court that the brand would not cause confusion because “Mr. Putin has never produced commercial goods or provided services under his own name.” The firm also noted that Rospatent had previously registered the trademark “Putinka.”

The court, however, sided with Rospatent, ruling that a “Pseudonym Platov” trademark would “use the reputation of the head of state and the Russian Federation for commercial purposes” and could therefore cause reputational damage that is “contrary to societal interests” in Russia.

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