The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit has ruled that a Russian
state-owned company can sue U.S. distributors of Stolichnaya vodka in
a dispute over which entity inherited the brand after the Soviet Union
collapsed—the Russian Federation or private companies successive to
the company that sold the product before the dissolution. Fed. Treasury
Enter. Sojuzplodoimport v. Spirits Intl. BV, No. 14-4721 (2nd Cir., order
entered January 5, 2016).

A lower court previously held that the Russian Federation’s Federal Treasury
Enterprise Sojuzplodoimport (FTE) did not have standing to sue,
but the appeals court disagreed. “The declaration of a United States court
that the executive branch of the Russian government violated its own
law by transferring its own rights to its own quasi-governmental entity
(FTE) would be an affront to the government of a foreign sovereign,” the
appeals court held. “Even an inquiry into whether Russian law permitted
the Assignment is a breach of comity.” Additional information about the
lengthy dispute appears in Issue 536 of this Update.


Issue 589

About The Author


For decades, manufacturers, distributors and retailers at every link in the food chain have come to Shook, Hardy & Bacon to partner with a legal team that understands the issues they face in today's evolving food production industry. Shook attorneys work with some of the world's largest food, beverage and agribusiness companies to establish preventative measures, conduct internal audits, develop public relations strategies, and advance tort reform initiatives.

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