TALLINN - French winemaker Baron Philippe de Rothschild has said it will dispute the
registration of the Monton brand by Baltika, the textile manufacturer and
the Baltics' largest clothing group.
The French company claims that the name Monton, which was launched by
Baltika last year, is similar to its brand name Mouton Cadet that has been
used for its product line that has been on the market for 70 years.
Rothschild submitted an application against the registration of the Monton
brand to the Estonian patent office on Sept. 2 last year. Only three days
later Baltika announced the introduction of its new international clothing
brand called Monton.
Villu Pavelts, who represents Rothschild in patent issues, said the French
company believed that Baltika's new Monton brand could confuse consumers
because of its similarity to the Mouton Cadet brand name.
In Estonia, Baltika registered Monton in most product classes, including
classes 33 and 34 that pertain to alcoholic drinks and tobacco products.
Under pressure from Rothschild, Baltika did not register Monton in these two
classes in Latvia, Lithuania and Sweden.
Meelis Milder, chairman of Baltika, admitted that the request from
Rothschild influenced the company's decision not to register its new brand
in the patent classes covering alcohol in Latvia, Lithuania and Sweden.
"In Estonia the dispute is still ongoing and I would not comment the issue
any further," Milder said.
He added, however, that in his opinion it would be unlikely that consumers
choosing a wine in a convenience store would automatically think that the
bottle was a special product from Baltika.
Baltika spent a total of 22.4 million (1.4 million euros) kroons in
launching the Monton brand on the market.