Dutch court upholds Russia’s right to Stolichnaya vodka brand

The Netherlands court ruled that a Russian company has exclusive rights to the brand in the country

(Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty) – A Dutch appeals court has upheld a ruling that granted the rights to the Stolichnaya vodka brand to a state-owned Russian company.

The January 9 ruling, which applies only to the Netherlands, is the latest decision in a worldwide battle over the rights to the famous brand.

The appeals court upheld a lower court’s ruling granting the rights to Russian company Soyuzplodoimport and stripping them from Luxembourg-based Spirits International

Yury Shefler, who is from Russia but lives abroad, acquired Stolichnaya through Spirits International amid the chaotic privatization of Russian state assets after the 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union.

Spirits International owner SPI Group is also facing challenges over the Stolichnaya brand in several other European Union countries, as well as the United States and Australia.

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