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10 Aug, 2007 10:12

Soviet trademarks to cost money

Foreign companies will no longer be allowed to snap up Soviet-era brands for free.

Starting next year,  foreign firms buying Russian companies will also have to pay for trademarks, known in accounting terms as goodwill.

The new law will come into force in January.

Popular Soviet brands, such as the fizzy wine Sovetskoe Shampanskoe or the vodka Stolichnaya , account for 20% of Russia’s consumer goods output.

Some analysts say the new law has no legal basis as Russia cannot own the rights for brands which are well-known in all ex-Soviet republics.