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Conflict over similar trademarks

INTELLECT is representing HiTexLab, a manufacturer of feminine hygiene products, in a chain of administrative and legal proceedings.

The case arose from a long-standing conflict with HiTexLab's competitor, Hygiena, over similar trademarks they had shared since they were affiliated, until a corporate conflict split their owners and divided their businesses.

In one instance, Hygiena accused HiTexLab of illegal acquisition of the rights to a verbal trademark and malicious imitation of its packaging.

The administrative proceedings began in the Sverdlovsk Territorial Directorate of the Federal Antimonopoly Service early in 2018. Represented by INTELLECT, HiTexLab demonstrated that it had legally owned and used its registered trademark, pursuing no goals qualifiable as unfair competition, but, found guilty of alleged imitation, it was ordered to recall all products imitating Hygiena's from the market and pay an unprecedentedly large, rarely applied and obscurely regulated fine, RUB47 million (a half of HiTexLab's proceeds from the sales of allegedly imitated products).

Our comment:

The significance of the engagement for the client:

We demonstrated a miscarriage of justice and saved the client from bankruptcy.

Represented by INTELLECT, HiTexLab successfully appealed to the Federal Antimonopoly Service which struck down the fine after we demonstrated a miscarriage of justice and saved the client from bankruptcy: the adjudicated guilt would have entitled the adversary/competitor to the recovery of its full alleged losses (RUB97m), while HiTexLab's total losses would have exceeded RUB200m in fines, damages and product recall costs.

Intellectual Property, Trademarks

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