The case under review began as a case of systematic non-use of trademarks. One company, Conde Nast Publications S.A. (applicant part 1) and its Russian offspring Conde Nast CJSC (applicant 2), sued a public limited company “Sinergia Capital” for non-use of trademarks (Nos. 295229, 304346 and 433377). The case was considered at trial by the IP court. The Patent Office was involved in the case as an unpretentious third party. The IP court partially satisfied the claims. Both the applicants and the respondent appealed the judgment to the IP Court Office. The hearings were adjourned four times at the request of the applicant and the respondent. The reason was that the parties wanted to reach an amicable agreement and needed time to discuss it. For the fifth time, the parties appeared at the hearing and asked the court to approve their settlement amicably and to terminate the consideration of their cassation appeals.

In summary, given the specific nature of intellectual property as intangible assets and the potential legal risks associated with intellectual property, parties to cooperation projects should ensure that their respective intellectual property or intellectual property rights, titles and interests are defined as clearly as possible. As a solution, they can apply flexible and diversified licensing agreements to replace co-ownership agreements that involve relatively higher legal risks. Many of the problems that can result from common ownership of the IP can be resolved by agreements reached at the beginning of a project. Agreements should clearly specify who owns intellectual property, how rights are distributed among parties, and what different scenarios may arise, such as the application and licensing or sale of intellectual property rights. Gottlieb Rackman – Reisman can help solve these problems properly before you get into trouble. Conflicts arise later because the project has been successful and there is a lot of money at stake. Repairing things at this point can be much more difficult and more expensive. Common ownership of a brand can pose difficult problems, especially when co-owners no longer want to cooperate with the joint venture. If the owners are unable to cooperate and coordinate with regard to the quality of the merchandise, a decision maker may find the brand abandoned.

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