According to SPI Group, the Russian Federation (through state entities) has “embarked on a harassing campaign in courts around the world to confiscate the Stolichnaya trademark”.
The group insists its Stolichnaya trademarks were purchased legitimately in 1997 from private shareholders, and not from the Russian state, but since 2000, Russian government officials have disputed this claim and consider the brand to be a product of national heritage and ownership.
On January 5 this year, an appeals court in Manhattan allowed for a trademark law suit by a Russian state-run company against SPI to be revived.
SPI Group responded: “While SPI is disappointed with the Second Circuit’s decision regarding the jurisdiction of the U.S. Federal Courts, it should be noted that several claims raised against SPI were dismissed. Still, SPI has full confidence in the United States court system and believes that SPI will prevail in proving its legitimate rights.”
The group added: “SPI Group has been successful in protecting these assets in the US and abroad and will continue aggressively to defend its rights.”