Starbucks Trademarks in Russia - A Return or Just a Preemptive Move?

Starbucks Trademarks in Russia - A Return or Just a Preemptive Move?

After exiting Russia in 2022 due to the Ukraine invasion, Starbucks has applied to register multiple trademarks with Russia's intellectual property service, Rospatent. The coffee giant, which began operations in Russia in 2007, ceased all activities in March 2022 and fully exited the market by May. Now, it seeks to secure trademarks, including Starbucks, Starbucks Coffee, Frappuccino, and others related to its drinks, food, instant coffee, and loyalty programs. Business analysts speculate whether this signals a potential return, but Russian business news site Vedomosti suggests it's more about protecting its brand as existing patent protections are set to expire next year. The company's Russian operations were taken over by Russian rapper Timati and entrepreneur Anton Pinskiy, who rebranded the business as "Stars Coffee." Despite attempts to register new brand names, Rospatent rejected them due to potential customer confusion. The situation remains fluid, with legal proceedings ongoing regarding the early termination of the Starbucks Corporation trademark.

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