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Lawsuit Over Stolichnaya Trademark Revived In U.S. Courts

A long-running lawsuit by a state-run Russian company that says it owns the Stolichnaya vodka trademark rights was revived by a U.S. court on January 5.

A Manhattan U.S. appeals court said a lower court erred in finding that Federal Treasury Enterprise Sojuzplodoimport (FTE) lacked standing to sue under a U.S. trademark law and ordered that the lawsuit be allowed to proceed.

In the suit, FTE and co-plaintiff OAO Moscow Distillery Cristall have accused SPI Group, which is owned by Russian billionaire Yuri Shefler, and three distributors of misappropriating Stolichnaya trademarks that Russia's government had assigned to FTE.

Dan Bromberg, a lawyer for FTE, told Reuters: "We look forward to proving on behalf of the Russian people that our client FTE is the true owner of the Stolichnaya trademarks, as courts in other countries have recognized."

Based on reporting by Reuters and Courthouse News

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