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Tatar Bakery Agrees To Pay To Use Kazan Kremlin Image

KAZAN, Tatarstan -- A bakery in Tatarstan says it has signed an agreement to pay for the use of a picture of the Kazan Kremlin on its products, RFE/RL's Tatar-Bashkir Service reports.

The large bakery, which produces the Tatar sweet chak-chak, had been using a picture of the seat of the republican government on its packaging.

But the image is one of 18 registered by the Russian Federal Service for Intellectual Property, Patents, and Trademarks (Rospatent) in December that feature an image of or reference to the Kazan Kremlin and its monuments.

The registered trademarks included several views of the Kremlin and historical buildings on its grounds; the phrase "Kazan Kremlin" in the English, Russian, and Tatar languages; and the words "Soyembike" (the tower) and "Kul-Sharif" (the famous mosque at the Kremlin).

On May 7, the Tatar office of the Federal Antimonopoly Service initiated an administrative case against the Kazan bakery on the grounds that it violated the competition law. The bakery faces a 100,000-ruble ($3,300) fine.

But on May 17 the bakery entered into a license agreement to use the trademarked images of the Kremlin. Bakery representative Gaziz Khalikov said the contract is for one year, during which the company will pay license fees based on how often it uses the image.

Both the Kremlin and the bakery refused to discuss how much it will cost to use the pictures.

Kremlin Museum Director Ramil Khayretdinov said a list has been made of companies that use Kazan Kremlin images. He said there are about 300 companies on the list.

Khayretdinov said the cost to companies for using the photos will be decided on a case-by-case basis.

Khayretdinov said that "the most logical scenario for the museum is for companies to pay royalties to the museum rather than fines." He added that the money earned from the photos will be used to preserve the Kremlin's heritage.

The Kazan bakery is the first company to sign an agreement with the Kremlin, which is represented by the Artpatent agency in its copyright negotiations.

FAS spokeswoman Rezeda Majiova told RFE/RL that the court case against the Kazan bakery and its previous unauthorized use of the Kremlin images has been postponed until June 10.

Meanwhile, similar copyright violation cases have been brought against two Tatar banks, BTA-Kazan and Akibank.