NEWS

Russia retaliates to sanctions by giving green light to Peppa Pig infringements

Published on: 15th March 2022

A Russian court has ruled that Peppa trademarks can be used by Russian businesses without permission or compensation, prompting fears that brands belonging to other Western companies could also be stolen.

The real Peppa Pig.

According to a report on Sky News, Russia has targeted what it refers to as ‘unfriendly countries’ in retaliation for the economic sanctions that have been imposed following its invasion of Ukraine, and the unlikely character at the heart of the row is Peppa Pig. It appears that a Russian court has ruled that Peppa Pig trademarks can be used by Russian businesses without permission or compensation, and that no redress or punishment will be forthcoming via Russian legal channels.

Entertainment One had taken legal action against a Russian entrepreneur who had drawn his own versions of Peppa Pig. The company had asked for 40,000 roubles (£400) in compensation last September, although the currency’s collapse means this would now be worth a mere £320.

However, a judge has dismissed the case, while referencing “unfriendly actions of the United States of America and affiliated foreign countries” in his ruling.

The Russian government has also issued a decree that allows patented inventions and industrial designs from what it terms “unfriendly countries” to be used without permission or compensation. This list of unfriendly countries includes the UK, the US, the EU, Australia, Ukraine, Japan and 16 other nations.

The Peppa Pig ruling has sparked fears that the Russian government may allow other brands and trademarks to be stolen on a wider scale – a prospect that will concern many IP owners, for whom Russia has developed into a substantial market in recent years.

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