The Federal Service for Intellectual Property (Rospatent) decided to grant the name ‘Bashneft’ the status of a well-known trademark as from January 1, 2007, included it in the List of Well-Known Trademarks in Russia and assigned it the number 131
A well-known trademark is valuable as it has a number of considerable advantages over an ordinary trademark. A well-known trademark has priority over ordinary brand names in case of a dispute. Besides, legal protection of a well-known trademark has no time limit and covers various types of goods and services; moreover, it may cover the period of time prior to the date when an application is submitted.
‘Protection of trademarks is aimed at safeguarding the rights of both their owners and consumers, as it enables to effectively combat counterfeiting of goods and services,’ emphasized Kirill Andreychenko, Bashneft’s Vice President for Corporate Governance and Legal Affairs. ‘As the Company is expanding its geographic footprint both in Russia and abroad, its brand name is becoming more attractive; therefore, it is necessary to ensure the highest level of its legal protection, including protection from unfair competition.’
Legal protection of well-known trademarks is stipulated in Article 1508 of Part IV of the Civil Code of the Russian Federation and in international documents, such as the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property (Article 6 bis) and the Agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS).
Well-known trademarks have been registered in Russia since 2000. At present, there are approximately 500 thousand registered trademarks in the country, but Rospatent has officially acknowledged only 131 trademarks as well-known. As for other oil and gas companies apart from Bashneft, the status of well-known trademarks has been granted to Gazprom, Lukoil and TNK.
It took about two years to collect and examine documentary evidence proving that Bashneft’s trademark has been well known starting from 2007. Key evidence included the findings of an opinion survey conducted in April 2012 by the Levada Analytical Center (Levada Center) in six Russian cities (Moscow, Saint Petersburg, Rostov-on-Don, Chelyabinsk and Izhevsk) on Rospatent’s recommendations.
According to the survey, most respondents (67%) know the ‘Bashneft’ brand name, even if they have not bought goods produced by Bashneft. The brand name is familiar to 86% of those who use engine fuel. More than half of respondents (53%) who know the name ‘Bashneft’ assess the quality of the Company’s goods and services as high.
According to Rospatent, the survey shows that the name ‘Bashneft’ has become very well known to Russian consumers and is highly distinctive of the applicant, JSOC Bashneft.