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Soviet Brand
October 31, 2013 14:42


It might be allowed to use well-known trademarks of the Soviet Union by any manufacturer. Sweet brands like "Alyonka", "Mishka na Severe (Bear in the North)", "Kara-Kum" will become a public domain. 

The idea to return the collective ownership of the Soviet trademarks is being considered by Council of Federation. It is assumed that the changes will be positive for consumers, because the market will see more manufacturers of their favorite chocolates. However, experts disagree with this fact, and find such kind of “benefits” of the reform rather controversial. 

Amendments to the Civil Code might be made, bringing back the norm that operated until 2007. According to it, a manufacturer that produced the products under Soviet brands until 1992, retained the right to further free use of these trademarks.

Historically, confectionery and food companies produced their goods under the Soviet trademarks, developed by industry-government institutions financed by the state budget. The names of these brands in a single Soviet economy were of general use, confectionery and chocolate were produced by many factories, competing only in quality. In the late 90's - early 2000's brands were privatized. A regulation that allowed manufacturers to produce their goods under Soviet trademarks free of charge was canceled. This was done to close the loophole for foreign companies, that acquired the former Soviet enterprises used the world famous brand names. As a result, the Russian courts were inundated with claims of many producers.

Amount of financial claims exceeds three billion rubles. To stop the legal strife, amendments to the Civil Code of the Russian Federation are needed.

One brand can not have many different owners, as the executive director of the nonprofit partnership "Rusbrand" Alexei Popovich comments. "In the Soviet Union, when the same cigarettes, alcohol, sweets were produced under the norm of a single state standard by various companies, people were walking and searching for a specific product factory that they preferred most of all. Because the taste was different everywhere, even slightly, but still…" - says Alexei Popovich.

 According to his words, the socialization of trademarks may lead to the fact that the consumer will not be able to keep track of all companies which produce their favourite products. By the way, the problem of using the Soviet brands is not only internal. According to estimates of the Eurasian Economic Commission (EEC), about one percent of trademarks origin, which are used in the Customs Union of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan, is from USSR. And their use also causes problems from time to time. 

'Alyonka'. The roots of Alyonka date back to 1851 when Teodore Ferdinand von Einem, an immigrant, partnered with fellow German Julius Heiss to open a workshop in Arbat Street, Moscow to produce chocolates and sweets. Einem was the one who had the knowledge of what taste Muscovites liked in sweets, chocolates, cookies and glazed fruits. The factory, that Einem opened in 1867 later expanded to a red brick building complex on the Bersenevskaya Embankment of Moscow River. Over the years the name of the business has changed to State Confectionery Factory #1, and finally Red October in 1922. The United Confectionary may be right in claiming that Alyonka is as popular as the Mona Lisa. The image of Alyonka is so well liked that many artists based their projects on the little girl. The long running project is the Alyonka Mail Art Project, initiated by Ivan Zemtsov in 2006. He invited the global creative community to make artworks using Alyonka and uploaded the work on the web.

'Mishka na Severe' (Bear in the North)
: chocolate-coated candies, traditional Soviet-Russian chocolate sweets, dark chocolate covered crisp innards topped and bottomed with a stale wafer. The almond nuts praline is put between layers of wafers.  


Author: Anna Dorozhkina

Tags: Russian brands Alyonka chocolate Krasny Oktyabr   

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