The popular British cartoon – featuring Peppa the pig, her family, and her friends – can now be copied by Russian businesses, without any threat of punishment for trademark infringment, after a court ruling in Russia.
In September, Peppa Pig’s owners Entertainment One took sued a Russian entrepreneur who had created his version of the characters.
The company – that was acquired by Hasbro in 2019 – had demanded that Ivan Kozhevnikov pay 40,000 roubles (up to £400) compensation.
But judge Andrei Slavinsky, at a court in Kirov 600 miles north-east of Moscow, has dismissed the case and has mentioned that the “unfriendly actions of the United States of America and affiliated foreign countries” had influenced the ruling.
Even if the ruling was in Entertainment One’s favour, the compensation would have been reduced to about £230 as a result of the value of the rouble plummeting during the brutal invasion of Ukraine.
The court case’s conclusion comes several months after Boris Johnson had voiced his liking for Peppa Pig.
The PM has two young children with wife Carrie, and the family went to visit Peppa Pig World – which he had said, in a bizarre speech to the Confederation of British Industry in November, was “very much [his] kind of place”.
More trademark violations could be seen in the near future, after the Russian government had announced that patented inventions and industrial designs from hostile countries will be allowed to be used without permission or compensation.
Earlier this month, the Kremlin issued its list of countries that have imposed sanctions on Russian oligarchs and businesses in response to Vladimir Putin launching the invasion of Ukraine on 24 February.
The countries include the UK, the US, Canada, the 27 in the EU, Australia, Ukraine, Iceland, Norway, Japan, South Korea, Switzerland, and about 10 others.
Since the invasion of Ukraine, dozens of well-known companies and brands have cut business ties with Russia.
They include Apple, Ikea, Disney, McDonald’s, Coca-Cola, Starbucks, Chanel, Hèrmes, L’Oréal, Adidas, Levi’s, Heineken, and Burger King.
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