The Russia-Ukraine crisis’ fire fails to extinguish even after a month, since the global tragedy began. Human lives have been lost and irreparable damage has been done to the resources as well as psyche of people involved. As a retaliation to the growing worldwide support for the Ukrainians, several brands based in ‘enemy countries’ of Russia face uncertainties there.
Several brands have left the Russian market since the crisis began. The brands are beginning to fear another new problem based on recent incidents in Russia. They fear that since they are primarily located in countries that Russia considers her ‘enemy,’ they won’t be given justifiable protection over their trademarks.
A Russian court allowed the trademark infringement over a character named ‘Peppa Pig’, the rights of which are held by a company Entertainment One. The Court refused to accept Entertainment One’s rights as it was based in a country that was facing Russian sanctions. Entertainment One is a UK based firm.
This has sparked a fear among all the brands that similar infringement attempts on their own trademarks would go unpunished or in the worst case even encouraged. Since a number of brands left the Russian market, the market is facing a shortage of the goods that people loved. It is likely that the gray market could surface to fill that spike in demand for these goods. Allowing counterfeit trademark filings thus, to the skeptics, appears highly possible.
In such a situation, if it actually happens, brands do have certain bases where they can hold their stance. The first and the most important being the uniqueness of their product. It is easy to copy one’s trademarks, logo and packaging. However, the crucial part is the product and the quality of it. People would recognise the difference between the original and the counterfeit. The counterfeit product would eventually lose.
Second being customer satisfaction. Not everyone wants to flash off the brands and products they buy. The experience and satisfaction derived from the usage of a product is a far more potent force for bringing customers back. A cheap copy of the original can seldom create such a feeling around it.
The brands are not the only ones feeling anxious in these uncertain times. The crisis has every person worried about their future prospects. Let’s hope for a cessation of violation on all fronts as soon as possible. The people and brands can only then begin functioning to their maximum potential and efficiency.