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Russians Eye Departed Western Brands’ Trademarks

A Russian branch of McDonald's. The U.S. fast-food giant announced that it would be suspending its Russian operations on March 8. Sophia Sandurskaya / Moskva News Agency

Opportunistic Russians have submitted more than 50 applications to register trademarks for Western brands such as Coca-Cola and Christian Dior, the RBC news website reported Tuesday. 

The applications to Russia’s federal patent office seek to cash in on the mass exodus of major Western brands such as MasterCard, Visa, Sephora, Louis Vuitton, Nivea, McDonald’s, IKEA and Volkswagen from Russia over its “military operation” in Ukraine.

Many of the would-be copyright holders have tried not only to trademark brand names, but also logos, RBC reported.

Some applicants made slight alterations to the brands whose name they wish to capitalize on. One application found by RBC rebranded the coffee company Nespresso to Nezpresso — embracing the letter ‘Z,’ a symbol of support for President Vladimir Putin and the Russian army amid the invasion of Ukraine. 

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