Cosmetics Chain Wins Right to Trademark

L’Etoile is expanding beyond cosmetics to jewelry under the same name. Valery Volkov

A Russian patent court granted Alkor & Co., which owns the cosmetics chain L'Etoile, the right to use the L'Etoile du Berger trademark previously owned by Belgian jeweler Tolkowsky, Vedomosti reported Wednesday.

L'Etoile began selling a budget line of jewelry in July. In May, the company filed a request with the Russian patent authority to have exclusive rights to use the L'Etoile trademark, Vedomosti reported.

The L'Etoile du Berger trademark patent for jewelry products was filed in 2000 by Gabriel Tolkowsky. The trademark has been canceled since, according to Trademarkia.com, a trademark search engine.

Alkor & Co. claimed the company has the right to use the trademark because Tolkowsky has not used it in three years, Vedomosti reported.

Tolkowsky has stores in India, Hong Kong, Singapore, New Zealand and Australia.

L'Etoile is the largest cosmetics and perfume retailer in Russia. The chain opened its first store in Moscow in 1997. Today it has more than 650 stores all over the country, with at least 9 million shoppers, according to the company's web site.

Earlier this year, L'Etoile bought two Ukrainian chains, Bonjour and Brocard, adding 71 new stores and becoming the largest retailer of cosmetics in Ukraine.

L'Etoile was also fined 200,000 rubles last summer for advertising medical products without pointing out side effects, advertising alcohol without a health warning and overstating discounts, Pravo.ru reported.

The L'Etoile press service declined to comment for this story.

BRUSSELS — Two decades after the fall of Communism, the hammer and sickle is still off-limits to capitalist ownership. An EU high court Tuesday rejected a company's attempt to trademark the Soviet symbol, saying there is still too much opposition, The Associated Press reported.

The court confirmed a decision by the EU trademark office. It says the trademark sought by Couture Tech, a British Islands-based company linked to an unnamed Russian designer was "contrary to public policy and to accepted principles of morality" in Hungary. A rejection in any EU member state is enough to reject the trademark completely.

Read more