Lozhkin for Corvalol: Darnitsa is Playing a Dirty Game against Farmak
Trademark rights are one of the key business assets. Сompetitors often do not disdain “dirty” methods in an attempt to seize someone else’s trade name illegally. Among such raiders, there is Ukrainian pharmaceutical company Darnitsa, owned by Glib Zagoriy.
A Brief Story of the Case
In the Ukrainian pharmaceutical market, the battle for Corvalol is the biggest scandal in recent years. The legal owner of the trademark of this drug is Farmak which began producing it back in the 1960s. Only this company has the right to produce a drug under this trademark. It itself is legally protected in 14 countries of Europe and Asia. Only in Ukraine, it has to fight for being protected.
Over the past 15 years, the company “Darnitsa” has already lost several lawsuits for the trademark “Corvalol”. Back in 2004, Zagoriy tried to bring the Corvalol analog to the market but after litigation, justice was restored. However, the company of Glib Zagoriy did not abandon attempts to piracy. In 2016, Darnitsa registered “its” trademark – Corvalol-Darnitsa. Naturally, Farmak opposed such a shameless takeover of the brand and sued. Darnitsa decided to strike back. In the court, it demanded to cancel recognition of Corvalol as Farmak’s trademark. Such actions provided a serious foundation for the legal protection of the trademark. In the end, the Supreme Court launched a new case rejecting Darnitsa’s attempts to obtain the trademark rights for Corvalol.
Zagoriy’s political connections
Glib Zagoriy is known for his ability to “establish contacts” in high offices. He was heard to receive “carte blanche” to oust competitors from the profitable pharmaceutical market during the period of Nikolai Azarov’s rule. It is not surprising because Zagoriy himself is closely connected with the Russian political circles through his mother’s university girlfriend (and, probably, a business partner), the head of the Council of Russian Federation Valentina Matvienko. With the help of loyal people put in the right positions, Zagoriy received de facto a full control over the entry of medications into the market.
Even the Revolution of Dignity did not prevent Zagoriy from the fighting for the trademark rights which is why he sponsored the election campaign of Kyiv Mayor Klitschko and his other business partner Alexander Tretyakov. The entire story was controlled by the Administration of the President. Firstly, the interests of Darnitsa in the fight for Corvalol were represented by AEQUO law firm. Its co-owner and partner is Anna Babich who was a wife of Alexey Filatov, a deputy head of the Presidential Administration of Petro Poroshenko. Secondly, the well-known partnership of Zagoriy and ex-head of Presidential Administration Boris Lozhkin on illegal gambling played a role for some time.
For Lozhkin and Zagoriy, all the fights were not enough. It was clear to any sensible observer that Darnitsa was playing a dishonest game.
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