The largest meat producer blamed a competitor to copy the packaging

The largest meat producer blamed a competitor to copy the packaging

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Working in one of the workshops of meat-processing enterprises of group of companies “Cherkizovo”. 2014

Photo: Igor Zarembo/RIA Novosti

The largest Russian manufacturer of meat holding “Miratorg” complained to the FAS for the company “Cherkizovo”. The holding company believe that the production of pork for roasting a competitor copied its packaging

Experts FAS has seen in actions of the group “Cherkizovo” the signs of violation of the law on protection of competition. We are talking about selling of pork in batches for baking. Its packaging can be considered similar to the point of confusion with similar products of the holding “Miratorg”, told RBC in the press-service of Antimonopoly Department. Relevant conclusions were made based on the results of the expert meeting FAS held on 18 October.

“The experts voted that the signs of violations,” — said the representative office. According to him, most likely, the next service will initiate an administrative case on this occasion.

“Unfair competition is to simulate the appearance of the line product “pork for roasting”, — told RBC Alexander Krasnov, head of legal Department of “Miratorg”, which put forward the claim to the “Cherkizovo”. We are talking about multiple products, said Krasnov.

In a press-service “Cherkizovo” announced that in the course of claims “Miratorg”, but declined to comment.

The irony of marketing

Respondents RBC representatives of the marketing companies with the position of “Miratorg” do not agree. As noted creative Director of branding Agency Depot WPF Alexey Fadeev, the decals and such products have a similar color scheme and layout, and ham — similar in color and size. “In my opinion, there is no similarity to the point of confusion here, and “Cherkizovo” has made his design more than “Miratorg” — to the extent allowed by this packaging format,” — said the expert.

“Judging by the pictures I see no prospects for this business there” — I agree marketer and the CEO of the company “Dymshits and partners” Michael Dymshits. With the same success it is possible to say that some manufacturers fake sausage, “because they look like sausages, and have a certain shape,” sneers the expert.

However, if the Commission of the FAS will support the opinion of the expert Council and a violation of the law is confirmed, the case threatens Cherkizovo serious risks. The company will have to abandon the use “controversial” packaging, which according to article 1515 of the civil code is found to be fake. In addition, all income derived from the illegal use of this package, will be subject to penalties in favor of “Miratorg”, explains senior lawyer at BMS Law Firm Taras Khizhnyak.

Also by law, the holder will have the right to demand from “Cherkizovo” or compensation in the amount from 10 thousand to 5 million rubles (depending on the decision of the court), or the payment of double the amount of counterfeit goods or the right to use the trademark, total Khizhnyak.

Periodically manufacturers from different industries are turning to the FAS with complaints that their products will be copied by competitors. One of the most recent high-profile cases on this issue — a dispute between the company “Valio” and “Tradition” produces oil “Baba Valya”. The case was initiated by the statement of “Valio” on visual similarity between packs of butter “Baba Valya” and butter “Valio”. At the end of 2015 FAS is recognized by OOO “Tradition” violates the law on competition. The company appealed to the court, but in the summer of 2016, the Arbitration court of St.-Petersburg and Leningrad region has recognized the legitimacy of the FAS decision.