Thank you for sharing!

Your article was successfully shared with the contacts you provided.
Argued: December 15, 2009

Before: CABRANES, B.D. PARKER, Circuit Judges, and CASTEL, District Judge.*fn1

Plaintiff-Appellant Federal Treasury Enterprise Sojuzplodoimport (“FTE”) appeals from a judgment of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York (Daniels, J.) arising from litigation over ownership of the famous STOLICHNAYA vodka trademarks. FTE, an entity created by the Russian government and purportedly granted rights by the government to manage the trademarks, sued two groups of defendants: (1) Spirits International N.V., SPI Spirits Limited, SPI Group SA, Yuri Shefler, and Alexey Oliynik (collectively, the “SPI defendants”), who also claim to be the lawful owners of the trademarks, and (2) Allied Domecq International Holdings B.V. and Allied Domecq Spirts & Wine USA, Inc. (collectively, “Allied Domecq”), to whom SPI has assigned its purported ownership rights. FTE’s complaint asserted a variety of Lanham Act and related common-law claims. See 15 U.S.C. § 1051 et seq. The principal dispute in the district court was essentially whether Allied Domecq’s claimed rights in the marks had become “incontestable” under the Lanham Act. See 15 U.S.C. § 1065(1)-(4). The district court concluded that the marks had become incontestable, and that therefore FTE could not challenge the validity of their assignment to Allied Domecq. The district court also considered and dismissed certain of FTE’s common-law claims. Because we conclude that the district court improperly conflated incontestability with the analytically distinct issue of whether a subsequent transfer of the marks was valid, we hold that FTE may challenge Allied Domecq’s claim of ownership of the marks in a federal action. Accordingly, we vacate the portion of the judgment that relates to the trademark claims. In a summary order filed contemporaneously with this opinion, we affirm the district court’s dismissal of the common-law fraud and unjust enrichment claims.

Reprints & Licensing
Mentioned in a Law.com story?

License our industry-leading legal content to extend your thought leadership and build your brand.

More From ALM

Premium Subscription

With this subscription you will receive unlimited access to high quality, online, on-demand premium content from well-respected faculty in the legal industry. This is perfect for attorneys licensed in multiple jurisdictions or for attorneys that have fulfilled their CLE requirement but need to access resourceful information for their practice areas.
View Now

Team Accounts

Our Team Account subscription service is for legal teams of four or more attorneys. Each attorney is granted unlimited access to high quality, on-demand premium content from well-respected faculty in the legal industry along with administrative access to easily manage CLE for the entire team.
View Now

Bundle Subscriptions

Gain access to some of the most knowledgeable and experienced attorneys with our 2 bundle options! Our Compliance bundles are curated by CLE Counselors and include current legal topics and challenges within the industry. Our second option allows you to build your bundle and strategically select the content that pertains to your needs. Both options are priced the same.
View Now

WIPL.UK Awards 2022

May 22, 2022

The original national forum facilitating women-to-women exchange on leadership and current legal issues in the UK.

Learn More

BenefitsPRO Broker Expo 2022

May 23, 2022 - May 25, 2022
Austin, TX

The premier educational and networking event for employee benefits brokers and agents.

Learn More

Georgia Legal Awards 2022 (GALA)

June 23, 2022
Atlanta, GA

The Daily Report is honoring those attorneys and judges who have made a remarkable difference in the legal profession in Georgia.

Learn More


McGovern Legal Services, LLC seeks an attorney to join our team at our North Brunswick office working with Condominium Associations, Homeown...

Apply Now ›

Trial Attorney - New York

Auto defense firm seeks experienced TRIAL ATTORNEY to do trials,motions, court appearances and depositions. Email resume: [email protected]

Apply Now ›


Mineola firm with national practice seeks talented, experienced (3-5 years post-admission) attorneys withdeposition experience to handle com...

Apply Now ›



Lawrence Law LLC congratulates Jeralyn Lawrence, Esq. on her upcoming installation as President of the New Jersey State Bar Association

View Announcement ›



RAYNES & LAWN is Proud to Welcome Next Generation to the Firm

View Announcement ›



VAN DER VEEN HARTSHORN & LEVIN Congratulates the Attorney of the Year Finalists named by The Legal Intelligencer

View Announcement ›