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19 Jan, 2024 15:01

Russian beer giant ups ante in battle with former owner

Baltika is trying to reclaim the rights to use Carlsberg’s flagship brands
Russian beer giant ups ante in battle with former owner

The legal battle between Russian firm Baltika Breweries and Danish beer giant Carlsberg is gaining momentum, as the Russian brewer is now seeking to preserve its rights to use the group’s flagship brands Carlsberg and Grimbergen, Kommersant reported on Thursday.

The Russian beer maker filed a claim with the Arbitration Court of St. Petersburg and Leningrad Region to invalidate Carlsberg’s unilateral termination of licensing agreements for the Carlsberg and Grimbergen brands with its former Russian unit, Baltika Breweries, a court document stated.

According to the Federal Service for Intellectual Property, Rospatent, Baltika’s license for the Carlsberg brand is valid until the end of 2027, and for Grimbergen until the end of 2030.

The Danish brewer stopped production of its flagship Carlsberg brand after the company announced its exit from Russia in March 2022 in the light of Western sanctions.

The Russian government took temporary control of Carlsberg Group’s  Baltika unit last July, transferring the business to the Federal Property Management Agency. In October 2023, in response to the transfer, Carlsberg tore up its licensing agreements with Baltika.

The Russian company retaliated by filing a lawsuit to invalidate Carlsberg’s refusal to supply and license the Tuborg, Kronenbourg, Seth & Riley’s Garage, Holsten, and LAV brands. The court has now satisfied Baltika’s claim, allowing it to continue to use the beer brands, according to a post on Russia’s information portal Digital Justice.

Carlsberg has appealed the Russian court’s decision.

Experts point out that if the court decides in favor of the Russian brewer, the company should not have any technical problems with bottling beer under the Carlsberg brand, since Russia has all the necessary materials.

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