14 March 2022TrademarksAlex Baldwin

Russia drops ‘Peppa Pig’ case citing foreign sanctions

A Russian court has allowed the free use of Hasbro’s “Peppa Pig” trademarks without legal retaliation in Russia, claiming an “entrepreneur’s” use of the marks was justified in light of the mounting economic sanctions affecting Russia.

Judge Andrei Slavinsky of the Arbitration Court of the Kirov Region noted that infringement was justified due to the “restrictive” sanctions imposed on Russia as a result of its invasion of Ukraine.

A Russian “Entrepreneur’s” drawings of the “Peppa Pig” and “Daddy Pig” characters were noticed by Entertainment One UK, the creators of Peppa Pig that were later acquired by Hasbro, who sued the individual in September for trademark infringement.

According to the UK newspaper The Independent, Hasbro had asked for 40,000 roubles in compensation in a complaint lodged in September. Following the plummeting value of the rouble in recent weeks, this award would be worth approximately $355.

The court claimed that sanctions from the UK had impacted the ruling, classing Entertainment One’s actions constituted an “abuse of right”, and that the court was free to dismiss the claim.

Russian sanctions

This news emerges following a slew of economic and legislative sanctions from businesses and countries around the world in response to the Russian Government's violent invasion of Ukraine.

Several IP Offices have already severed ties with their Russian counterparts, as well as the Eurasian Patent Organisation.

In response to these actions, the Ministry of Economic Development of Russia announced that it is considering suspending IP rights that protect certain goods and services to alleviate the economic impact of foreign sanctions..

It noted that patents and trademarks could be suspended in order to facilitate the free use of technologies that were “deprived” from Russian citizens following the wave of sanctions from international businesses.

Last week, WIPR spoke to Agnieszka Sztoldman of the University of Wrocław in Poland about the potential fallout of Russia’s threat, noting that rightsholders might have to seek other avenues to enforce their IP.

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More on this story

18 March 2022   After a Russian court allowed the infringement of ‘Peppa Pig’ trademarks, will more Western marks be next? Terry Green and Tegan Miller-McCormack of Katten Muchin Rosenman report.
18 May 2023   War in Europe has created a complex international sanctions regime, but what if the senior managers don’t want to exit a market? Tom Phillips finds out more.
22 March 2022   Western brands can no longer rely on Russia’s legal system to protect their IP, finds Alex Baldwin.