Businesses have pulled out of Russia in record numbers after the country invaded Ukraine. Russia is retaliating against some companies by looking the other way or by ending patent protection on trademarks. Here’s the latest.
There’s a new McDonald’s: a new one trademark trademark in Russia on March 12 for “Uncle Vanya” bears a striking resemblance in color and logo to McDonald’s Corp. MCD, one of the largest restaurant companies in the world.
A recent report from trademark attorney Josh Gerben suggested that Russia could allow local businesses to take over abandoned brands and locations in the country and operate them under other names.
Russia legalized patent theft from countries “unfriendly” to it. Previous owners do not receive compensation for their previous patent rights.
“Russian officials have also raised the possibility of lifting restrictions on some trademarks, according to state media, which could allow continued use of brands such as McDonald’s that are withdrawing from Russia,” according to a report from the Washington Post.
The application for “Uncle Vanya” includes such items as snack bars, cafes, restaurants and self-service restaurants.
“The loss of viable IP rights in Russia could also further isolate the country in the coming years,” Gerben said in a tweet.
Morgan Stanley analyst John Glass lowered his McDonald’s price target from $294 to $287. In the note, Glass said Russia and Ukraine account for 2% of system sales, 9% of revenue and about 3% of operating profit for the company.
McDonald’s also pays employees and rent from restaurants, but brings in no revenue. The analyst said these items could lead to a cost of 28 cents a share if restaurants are closed for the remainder of 2022.
Gerben had previously given a hypothetical example of local businesses operating the 850 closed McDonald’s restaurants.
“If a company could lose a lot of money/stock value by seizing their intellectual property in Russia, should it prioritize shareholder value over moral obligation?” Gerben asked about the pressure on companies for morale and profit.
Related link: Russia could allow people to steal patents and run closed businesses like McDonald’s
Peppa Pig: Peppa Pig children’s brand, owned by Hasbro, Inc. HAS subsidiary Entertainment One, has become the target of the Russian trademark war.
Russia has cleared Peppa Pig to copy for Russian companies without the threat of being punished for trademark claims by Entertainment One.
The court’s ruling is in retaliation for countries that have imposed sanctions on Russia. Peppa Pig is loved in the UK, a country that has been active in imposing sanctions on the country.
Entertainment One has previously taken legal action against a Russian company that created a version of the cartoon character. The lawsuit and claim of 40,000 rubles was dismissed by a judge.
In the ruling, the judge called the “unfriendly behavior of the United States of America and affiliated foreign countries”.
The ability of companies to use Peppa Pig for free without fear of punishment could be extended to other brands in the future.
The US, UK, Australia, Ukraine and Japan are among the more than 20 countries listed as unfriendly towards Russia.
Photo: Sandra Cohen-Rose/Colin Rose via Flicker Creative Commons
This post How Russia is Trying to Replace McDonald’s and Peppa Pig
was original published at “https://www.benzinga.com/general/entertainment/22/03/26191880/how-russia-is-trying-to-replace-mcdonalds-and-peppa-pig”