Italian chocolate maker Ferrero has lost a long-running judicial battle in Ukraine over its Raffaello trademark.
The group has failed in its bid to overturn an earlier ruling by the Kiev court that allowed rival Russian firm Landrin to sell a lookalike praline in Ukraine.
Landrin, headed by a former employee of Ferrero Russia, had earlier lost a case in Russia, with the Moscow court ruling that the company’s Waferatto candy did infringe the trademark of Ferrero’s Raffaello. However, Landrin has received a favourable verdict in Ukraine.
Elena Limakova, senior lawyer at Ferrero Ukraine, called the decision in Kiev an “outrage”.
“It is a copy of the Raffaello chocolate,” Limakova said of the Waferatto. “Any company can now go on the market and copy our product. There are no ways we can fight them.” She suspects that Landrin will reintroduce the Waferatto in Ukraine. “Otherwise I don’t understand why they fought so hard for Ukraine,” she added.
Analysts in the Ukrainian media say that the court’s decision could have implications for foreign investments in Ukraine. Ferrero Ukraine nevertheless will continue selling, and advertising their popular chocolate in Ukraine.