Russian state restores its rights on Stolichnaya and Moskovskaya vodkas

The Russian State has restored its ownership rights on famous vodka trademarks, launching production of Stolichnaya and Moskovskaya on the OST-ALKO factory of drinks in Chernogolovka (Moscow Region).

Russian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Agriculture Alexei Gordeyev said at the opening ceremony that "this event is political as well as a crucial economic one".

"The restoration of the State's rights on the trademarks which are national wealth has taken place," he stressed.

Vladimir Loginov, general manager of the federal Soyuzplodoimport enterprise vested with the right to use these vodka brands on behalf of the state said that 10 million decalitres of Stolichnaya, Moskovskaya and other state-owned brands would be produced for the first year. In three years, the production must increase to 20 million decalitres.

According to his forecasts, up to 3 decalitres of Stolichnaya and Moskovskaya can be imported annually.

These trademarks were registered in 1969, the state represented by Soyuzplodoimport being their owner.

The export produce quickly received international acclaim: Stolichnaya won gold medals at exhibitions in Brussels, Leipzig, Pardubice, and Plovdiv, and Moskovskaya - in Bern, Brussels, and Pardubice.

After the USSR collapse, the production and trade of alcohol was absolutely liberalised. This caused anarchy on the domestic market of alcohol, rapid decline in the legal production of drinks in Russia and in the federal budget income. Legislation protecting intellectual property was rudely violated. This endangered valuable trademarks regarded as national pride and wealth.

A number of manipulations enabled a group of unscrupulous businessmen illegally use for a certain period the trademarks, according to Soyuzplodoimport. Receiving the business virtually for free, the said group intended to totally alienate the state property.

Soyuzplodoimport stresses that they failed to privatise the brands.

The decisions of the Presidium of the Supreme Court of Appeals, the Moscow Court of Appeals and over 40 courts of common jurisdiction confirmed that the trademark must be owned by the State.

In July, 2002, according to a decree of the Russian Cabinet, Soyuzplodoimport was vested with the right to use, on behalf of the Russian Federation, the trademarks on traditional Russian vodkas and liqueurs. Their producers will be authorised, and the produce quality permanently supervised.

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