Import of original goods to Russia by unauthorized importers infringes exclusive trademark rights
On 14th November 2011 the Commercial Court of Saint-Petersburg and the Leningrad region decided a case brought by «Longines Watch Co., Francillion Ltd» (the “Claimant”) requesting the violation of certain trademark rights cease and the recovery of compensation. Since the goods were sold via the internet by OOO “BESTWATCH. RU”, the Claimant also claimed against the website administrator.
Being an unauthorized distributor, ООО “BESTWATCH.RU” sold “LONGINES” hand watches via the internet. Reviewing the case, the court acknowledged that such activities infringed Claimant’s exclusive right to the trademark. Thus, the court prohibited OOO “BESTWATCH.RU” from offering “LONGINES” watches for sale. The online shop administrator – OOO “ADELIA”, was also prohibited to conduct such activities via the internet without the consent of the Claimant.
Instead of recovering damages, the Claimant demanded compensation of 5 000 000 rubles from OOO “BESTWATCH.RU” and 100 000 rubles from OOO “ADELIA”. The court upheld the claim against OOO “ADELIA” in full and reduced the compensation to be recovered from the seller down to 3 000 000 rubles. Currently, this is the highest amount of compensation awarded in a parallel imports case.
In this case the court supported the trademark owner and ruled that importing branded goods in Russia without the trademark owner’s consent violates exclusive trademark rights and leads to liability.