TBILISI, DFWatch – Georgia has reclaimed three brand names of wine that had been patented in Germany by a Russian company.
The company, Moscow Wine and Spirits Company GmbH, had been selling the wine brands Tsinandali, Kindzmarauli and Khvanchkara.
Irakli Ghvaladze, head of Sakpatent, Georgia’s intellectual property agency, says these brands are of Georgian origin and have been Georgian property for centuries. In 2011 Sakpatent became aware that the Russian company had registered the brandnames with the German patent and trademark office.
Last year Georgia reclaimed the trademark of Khvanchkara from the U.S. patent office, which had granted the rights to use it to Dozortsev & Sons. According to the agreement, all rights to use the Khvanchkara trademark in the United States have been transferred to Georgia, which means that no one will have the right to import goods and sell it on the American market under this name without Georgia’s permission.
The Georgian patent agency discovered Dozortsev & Sons’s patent while trying to register 18 Georgian wine brands in the U.S. One of them, Khvanchkara, turned out to be already patented by Dozortsev & Sons in 2005. Sakpatent continues to register the 17 remaining wines with the U.S. patent and trademark office.
Sakpatent also works with the Georgian Agriculture Ministry that in the nearest future a number of the registered Georgian geographical marks and names of the Georgian origin names would significantly increase so that as a result of enforcing the registration and appropriate legislative mechanisms the country could implement the control over the production and export of all registered geographical marks, which will open up an opportunity for Georgia to maintain a high level of quality and protect against fraud.
There was also signed an agreement with the EU protecting 18 Georgian wine brands in the European market: Ateni, Akhasheni, Tsinandali, Gurjaani, Kardenakhi, Kakheti, Kotekhi, Kvareli, Manavi, Mukuzani, Napareuli, Kindzmarauli, Sviri, Teliani, Tibaani, Tvishi, Vazisubani and Khvanchkara.
But after it was discovered that a patent had been registered in Germany, Sakpatent hired a German law firm to help complain to the German Patent office and ask to cancel the registration. The complaint explained that Tsinandali, Kindzmarauli and Khvanchkara are registered as wines of Georgian origin, that they are Georgian state property, and it’s not permitted to register them as trademarks by any foreign company.
“At the same time, with a help of the German lawyers, negotiations began with the lawyers of the Company Moscow Wine and Spirits Company GmbH, so that the company would cancel the registration of the Georgian wines in its name unconditionally and without dispute. The Georgian government was also involved in the process as well as our embassy to Germany. Our representatives went to the place where the mentioned company was registered, but we couldn’t have a direct conversation with them, because they often changed their addresses and they spoke with us only through lawyers,” Irakli Ghvaladze stated.
Considering the strong arguments presented by Georgia, finally Moscow Wine and Spirits Company GmbH discontinued the registration of Tsinandali, Kindzmarauli and Khvanchkara, accordingly the German patent and trademark office made the decision to cancel the registration Moscow Wine and Spirits Company GhmB had made of wines of Georgian origin.
Ghvaladze doesn’t exclude that Moscow Wine and Spirits Company GmbH registered the Georgian brands in order to provoke a trade dispute. He adds that his office will continue to monitor trade marks in other countries.