SPI Group v. FKP Sojuzplodoimport

Lobo & Ibeas and Felsberg Advogados advised on the case

On Tuesday, October 31, 2017, the Federal Court of Appeal of Brazil announced a decision on the appeal in the Stolichnaya trademark case confirming the SPI Group’s ownership of the trademarks. The Court of Appeal’s decision was unanimous, with the Judge’s ruling 3-0 in favor of SPI.

This decision marks one more defeat for Russian-state entity FKP Sojuzplodoimport (“FKP”) and three other related parties, after several interlocutory decisions, including at the Superior Court of Justice’s level, and the Federal Court of Rio de Janeiro’s decision made in March 2016 ruling in SPI’s favor on the merits.

It flows from the judgment read by the Rapporteur Judge that (1) the 2001 judgment issued by the Russian court in favor of the Russian State would not suffice as grounds for FKP’s claims in Brazil, (2) there was no evidence that VVO Sojuzplodoimport, the initial owner of the disputed trademarks, continued to exist as FGUP Sojuzplodoimport, and (3) in any case, the claims are time-barred under the 5 year Brazilian Law statute of limitation.

SPI Group expected a positive result in Brazil (as it does in several other jurisdictions where FKP has brought similar claims) since the claims in the long-standing dispute have no merit.

SPI and its affiliates own the Stolichnaya trademarks in more than 180 countries.

Lobo & Ibeas advised SPI, Instituto Nacional da Propiedade Industrial – INPI (the Brazilian PTO), Spirits International B.V., OAO Plodovaya Compania, ZAO Sojuzplodimport and Plodimex do Brasil Exportação e Importação Ltda. with Daniela Bessone (Picture), Manoel Vargas and Flavia Cristofaro.

Felsberg Advogados advised FKP Sojuzplodoimport, Ostalco do Brasil S.A., OOO Ost-Alko and FGUP Vsesojuznoe Objedinenije Sojuzplodoimport with Thomas Felsberg, Marcus A. Matteucci Gomes, Fabiana Solano and Igor Lima.

Involved fees earner: Daniela Bessone – Lobo & Ibeas; Flavia Savio Cristofaro – Lobo & Ibeas; Manoel Vargas Franco Netto – Lobo & Ibeas; Thomas Benes Felsberg – Felsberg Advogados; Marcus Alexandre Matteucci Gomes – Felsberg Advogados; Fabiana Solano – Felsberg Advogados; Igor Farias Cruz Lima – Felsberg Advogados;

Law Firms: Lobo & Ibeas; Felsberg Advogados;

Clients: SPI Group S.à r.l.; FKP Soyuzplodimport;


Author: Ambrogio Visconti.