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Rosneft Sues Gas Station Chain for Copyright Infringement

State energy firm Rosneft has accused a chain of gas stations in Siberia of copyright infringement for illegally using its logo on advertising banners.

The oil giant estimates the total damage from the copyright infringement at 784 million rubles ($24 million), Kemerovo region police said in a statement Wednesday.

Police have opened a criminal case on charges of illegally using a registered trademark. The charges can lead to a heavy fine or two years' community labor.

The criminal case comes after Rosneft asked investigators to run a check into advertising used by the Novokuznetsk-based chain of gas stations that featured a logo near-identical to that of the state oil company.

The investigation found that the Siberian chain's logo was "so similar to the trademark used by the oil company that they are almost identical," police said, adding that "its use on advertising banners was indeed illegal."

The management of the gas station chain has admitted that it deliberately used the logo to attract customers, according to the statement.

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