Interbrand’s US lawyers see red

Interbrand’s US legal team is investigating a Russian company ‘posing’ as Interbrand, which has opened an office in Moscow, claiming to be part of the Interbrand group.

Interbrand Rusconsulting is not part of Interbrand, says Interbrand Corporation chief executive officer Chuck Brymer.

‘[Rusconsulting] has pirated the Interbrand trademark and is attempting to pass itself off as Interbrand,’ he says. Rusconsulting is using the Interbrand name, logo and client list to promote itself in Russia, according to Brymer.

Interbrand Rusconsulting managing partner Mark Creswell says the company is not a ‘direct’ part of the Interbrand Group. He says there is a ‘relation’ with the group but he refuses to give further details as he is in legal discussions with Interbrand over the matter.

‘We have an affiliate structure [with the Interbrand Group],’ he says, but declines to elucidate. Interbrand Rusconsulting is the legal owner of the Interbrand trademark in Russia, he says.

Creswell claims Interbrand tried to open an office in Russia in 1996 but was unable to as the Interbrand trademark was already registered. Interbrand Rusconsulting opened its office this January, he adds.

Brymer denies Interbrand has ever tried to open an office in Russia, although it works with several clients in Russia. Interbrand has a ‘strong legal case’ against Rusconsulting, he claims, and is ‘very hopeful’ of winning it.

The practice of pirating trade names is not uncommon in Russia as it has less stringent patenting laws, Brymer adds.

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