Hotels of the Azimut network dispute their name from the same-named air carrier

The plaintiff believes that his rights to the trademark have been violated.
The Luxembourg company Azimuth International (owned by Ilya and Alexander Klyachin, the latter being the founder and chairman of the board of directors of the Azimut hotel chain) filed a lawsuit on March 5 with the Moscow Arbitration Court for Azimut Airlines. The beginning of consideration - on July 16, the subject of the claim - violation of exclusive rights to trademarks, the court documents say. The plaintiff requires the airline to stop using the name "Azimuth", say two people close to the various participants in the process.

Developer Alexander Klyachin began to open Azimut hotels in 2004, now it is the largest Russian hotel chain and the first one, which entered the international market. It includes 32 hotels (24 in Russia, seven in Germany, one in Austria) with a total fund of about 6,000 numbers, the presentation on the website of the network says.

Azimut is the youngest airline in Russia, it started flights in September 2017, it has eight Russian SSJ100s in the park, it is based at the Rostov-on-Don airport Platov.

Luxembourg Azimuth International, according to SPARK-Interfax, in 2009 registered in Rospatent the rights to 24 trademarks, including the name Azimut Hotel and Azimut Hotels and derivatives from them. The airline only in November 2017 filed with Rospatent applications for trademarks "Airline" Azimut "and Azimuth Airlines, they are being examined. Trademarks of the network are registered mainly in the categories "provision of temporary residence", "provision of food and beverages", "organization of educational work, conferences". The airline wants to obtain rights to the name in the category of "air transportation", "provision of food", etc.

"All rights to use the name" Azimut ", including in the sphere of air transportation, belong to the hotel chain" Azimut ", - said the representative of the hotel chain.

"The network does have a number of signs registered also in the category" air transportation ", - says a person close to the airline. "Before the filing of the claim, the network contacted the airline and offered to pay royalties to them, but since they have never engaged in air transportation and do not plan in the future, the airline refused." The airline's representative did not respond to Vedomosti's request.

If the air carrier uses the "Azimut" trademark without registration with Rospatent, it violates the exclusive rights of the hotel chain, Irina Mostova, partner of the "NAFCO-consultants" company, believes: "The network has a priority on this name. The procedure for registration of rights is complex, and up to 30% of applications are rejected, including because of someone else's priority. In court at a network of hotels a winning position ».

"Large companies usually register their trademarks in a broader set of categories than their current business, so to speak, for the future. Especially as the hotel business and air travel are part of the tourism industry, many tour operators own hotels and airlines, "says Igor Stepanov, managing partner of Stepanov and Aksyuk. The very fact that the hotel chain does not work in the air transportation industry for many years can not be a reason to cancel the protection of its rights in this category, Stepanov believes.

The head of commercial practice of the law firm BMS Law Firm Denis Frolov does not agree. In this case, the companies conduct different activities, so the claim may be refused, and the name "Azimut" registered for the airline, he notes.

"Azimut" is a common dictionary word that anyone can use in various fields of activity, it is possible to mix brands of the airline and the Azimut hotel network in the eyes of consumers, "says the lawyer of the Moscow branch of the Moscow Regional Bar Association Lyubov Kiseleva.

The airline and the network are negotiating, it is very likely the conclusion of the agreement, say two interlocutors close to the various participants in the process.