Dispute over Brand Names Continues

YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)–"I don’t know what the minister proceeded from when he recently stated that problems with YBC are settled," commented Yerevan Brandy Company President Pierre Larretche on a recent statement by Armenia’s Minister of Agriculture Zaven Gevorgian.

YBC has repeatedly expressed its discontent with the registration of brand names belonging to it by the "Don Kilikia" firm in Russia–the use of the "Great Ararat" logo by a Cypriot company and the manufacture of cognac by Armenian enterprises in Russia.

In July–Larretche acknowledged that the factory in Saratov will be privatized with the requiremen’s of Pernod Ricard taken into account–i.e. the factory will not manufacture any sort of cognac until 2004.

Larretche said that the use of the "Great Ararat" logo by another company damages the interests of YBC and therefore must be stopped immediately. A court in Moscow is currently considering Don Kilikia’s claim against one of the YBC distributors. The verdict is expected to be handed down August 25. In case of a favorable decision–YBC is going to apply to the Russian Bureau of Patents to be reinstated in its rights.

YBC managers acknowledged that these issues have repeatedly been discussed at different levels lately and that certain steps are being taken towards reconciliation. Yet–he regretted to say that the matter may still be on tenterhooks by the time the harvest of grapes begins.

The new managers of Pernod Ricard are expected to come to Yerevan in late August to examine the situation on the spot and make a decision on further steps.

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