LLC Testi, part of the Holding Aqua group, filed a claim to the Arbitration Court of the Stavropol region against CJSC Water Company Stary Istochnik due to the use of the Yessentuki (Ессентуки in Russian) designation, demanding compensation in the amount of 3 million rubles ($39 thousand).
Testi claims that the designation “Yessentuki”, which is used by the “Old source”, is confusingly similar to the appellation of origin “Yessentuki No. 4”.
In 2015, Stary Istochnik received a certificate of an exclusive right to the appellation of origin “Yessentuki No. 4”, which the company used during the period of cooperation with JSC “Kavminkurortresursy”. After the companies terminated the contract, the subsoil user applied to Rospatent to terminate this certificate. Rospatent granted this request. In 2019, this decision was confirmed by the courts.
Thus, to date, Stary Istochnik does not have the right to use the appellation of origin of goods “Yessentuki No. 4”.
In “Holding Aqua” the total damage of the holding from the violation of its intellectual rights is estimated at about 2 billion rubles ($26 mln). The group of companies produces mineral water under the brands “Yessentuki No. 4” and “Yessentuki No. 17”, “Narzan”, “Nagutskaya” and “Slavyanovskaya”. The rightsholder noted that the holding also intends to fight using the designations “No. 4” and “No. 17” (such brands are also used by Stary Istochnik).