1 February 2011

The Spy Who Loved Her Name

IMG_9950photo © 2010 zemistor | more info (via: Wylio)

Do you remember the bank that trademarked “Christmas”? Can happen only in Russia, right? Well, the land of Tolstoy, Bakunin and Putin shows once again that it is always good to provide for news relating to intellectual property!

The current case I would like to spend some words on is not as outrages as the “Christmas” one, though it involves a personality who not long ago gained a huge medial publicity.

Like to guess who might that be? Hm, what was this blog article’s name in the first place?

Yes, I can be talking only about Anna Kuschyenko, also known as Chapman! According to the Russian newspaper Komsomolskaya Pravda, the spy scandal heroine has successfully been granted the right to use her name as a trade mark for the classes 3, 14, 25, 28, 32, 33, 35 and 41. In doing so, Chapman obviously did what many others had already done in the past.

In this respect people have often asked me:

Are personal names registrable as trade marks?

In all generality, yes. While treated as descriptive signs and hence “weak” marks in the US, they are to be assessed exactly the same way as any other prospective trade marks in the European Union.
In other words, both jurisdictions allow the registration of personal names with their respective trade mark offices.

Apparently the same is true also under Russian trade mark law. Nevertheless, there is one thing I don’t really feel kosher about when considering the registrability of the Chapman mark. After all she was accused to have participated in an espionage affair and thus deported back to Russia. I would have classified those circumstances disparaging, had I been appointed to examine Ms Chapman’s application and, would have eventually rejected it. But Russia is different and we all know that. Russia loves its spies and treats them as heroes. Would it be then permissible to ask:

Was the trade mark registration Russia’s payoff to Ms Chapman?

I am afraid we will never figure this one out. In any case she spied in her country’s name, did love its own and succeeded in trademarking it!

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Comments (4)

  1. 22 February 2011

    Great articles & Nice a site….

  2. 18 December 2011

    […] това не е нещо ново – позволявам си да напомня за марковата регистрация на Ана Кущенко, по известна като […]

  3. 6 November 2012

    […] During the last couple of years market participants managed to successfully register brands such as “Christmas” and “New Year” for banking services (read more here and here) as well as “Anna Chapman” for clothing and beverages (read more here). […]

  4. 16 November 2012

    […] В годините успешно бяха регистрирани марките „Коледен“ и „Новогодишен“ за банкови услуги (повече от мен тук и тук), както и „Ана Чапман“ за облекло и напитки (повече от мен тук). […]

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