Kazakhstan: Carlsberg Appeals Ban on Marketing Baltika Brands

Carlsberg Kazakhstan has filed an appeal with a Russian court after a ban prevented the Danish brewer from marketing the Baltika beer brand of its former Russian partner in certain international markets, as reported by Reuters.

In July 2023, Moscow took control of Carlsberg's stake in Baltika, Russia's largest brewery, placing it under "temporary management" (inside.beer, 16.7.2023) and appointing Taimuraz Bolloev, a close ally and longtime friend of Russia’s president Vladimir Putin, as its new president (inside.beer, 18.7.2023).

Without Bolloev's involvement, Baltika reportedly signed agreements transferring trademark rights to Carlsberg entities abroad, as per Vedomosti newspaper.

On Jan. 24, shortly after Baltika's first vice president, Alexander Dedegkaev, appealed to the Kremlin for assistance, a court in St. Petersburg revoked Carlsberg's intellectual property rights to use Baltika brands in Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Ukraine, Tajikistan, Mongolia, and Turkmenistan.

As of March 1, Carlsberg Kazakhstan has contested this decision.

It is not unlikely that the court's ruling is linked to Carlsberg terminating all licensing rights for the production and marketing of international Carlsberg brands in Russia last October. (inside.beer, 3.10.2023). These agreements granted the seized Baltika group authorization to produce, market, and sell all Carlsberg Group products, including international brands like Tuborg, Kronenbourg 1664, Holsten, Sommersby Cider, as well as some regional brands. Baltika was allowed by Carlsberg to utilize existing stocks and materials during a limited transition period until April 1, 2024.

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