Barr wins Moscow court battle to protect its right to Irn-Bru name

Irn-Bru maker AG Barr has scored a victory in a legal battle over branding which threatened to undermine its sales in Russia.

A local company took the firm to court in a bid to terminate its brand protection in the country.

The move could have paved the way for cheap imitations of the soft drink being sold in its biggest foreign market. It is also the third-largest selling soft drink in the country after Coca-Cola and Pepsi.

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It is manufactured, distributed and sold by the Pepsi Bottling Group on behalf of AG Barr at a number of plants in Russia.

However, Business Investment Group Holdings, which is based in Russia’s Bashkortostan region, wanted to register the Irn-Bru name for itself.

It claimed AG Barr had not used the trademark for more than three years and should be given the right to take it over.

A judge at the Moscow commercial court has now thrown out the lawsuit after finding it was without foundation.

The Cumbernauld-based firm hired a team of top Moscow lawyers to defend the case. A spokeswoman for AG Barr said: “We will vigorously defend our trademarks in all relevant territories.

“The challenge to our trademarks in Russia was no exception and it has been completely dismissed by the Russian courts.

“Our trademark protection in Russia remains intact and Irn-Bru will continue its progress as a strong and successful brand in Russia where it is produced under licence.”

No-one from Business Investment Group Holdings was available for comment.