Starbucks applies to register trademarks in Russia – media

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The US multinational withdrew from the country in 2022 after the outbreak of the Ukraine conflict

US coffeehouse chain Starbucks has submitted applications to Russia’s intellectual property service, Rospatent, to register several trademarks in the country, Vedomosti newspaper reported on Tuesday.

Starbucks, which had operated in Russia since 2007, pulled out of the country in 2022 due to Western sanctions linked to the Ukraine conflict.

The Seattle-based company is now reportedly seeking to register eight brands in Russia – including Starbucks, Starbucks coffee, and frappuccino. The application, submitted within the past month, relates to making drinks and food, selling instant coffee, and administering a loyalty program.

The business newspaper suggested the move could be a “preemptive measure” to secure the rights to buy back its former Russian business.

Starbucks’ former operations in Russia were rebranded as “Stars Coffee” after Russian rapper and businessman Timati (Timur Yunusov), in partnership with entrepreneur Anton Pinsky, purchased all of the US chain’s Russian assets in the summer of 2022.

Pinsky and Yunusov acquired the rental agreements for all 130 Starbucks coffee shops in Russia, as well as the contracts of its 2,000 employees. As part of the rebranding, the mermaid image in the corporate logo was replaced with a girl in a traditional Russian ‘kokoshnik’ headdress.

In 2022 and 2023, Pinsky applied to register new brand names – Stars Pinskiy Coffee and Stars Kanokov Coffee. However, Rospatent rejected the application, pointing to both trademarks’ similarity “to the point of confusion” with the Starbucks brands.

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