Ferrero loses case in Ukraine

25 January 2011 – Italian chocolate maker Ferrero has lost a long running counterfeit case in relation to its top-selling praline brand, Raffaello.

The €6 billion confectionery group was hoping to overturn an earlier ruling that ordered the trademark for its Raffaello product be withdrawn from Ukraine, following an action brought by Russian firm, Landrin, over its Waferatto.

Landrin had lost a case in Russia with the court ruling that the Waferatto product did infringe the trademark of Ferrero’s praline brand. Following this, Landrin then filed a counter-claim in Ukraine and also sought the cancellation of the Italian firm’s trademark.

Landrin won a court decision in November 2010, ordering the Italian trademark be withdrawn from Ukraine. Last week, the High Commercial Court of Ukraine ruled that this decision should be upheld.

The court decision opens the way for marketing of the rival praline launched in Ukraine by a former Russian importer of Ferrero products.

This decision is likely to negatively impact on foreign investment in Ukraine, a country that is accused of damaging its relations with the European Union. Ukraine is under pressure from international and diplomatic bodies to clean up its image as a centre of corruption in Europe.

Ferrero, who also produces Nutella chocolate spread and Kinder chocolate eggs, has won hundreds of lawsuits in past, including some in neighbouring Russia.


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