How IKEA is trying to stop Russian copycats during Putin’s war

IKEA has extended its trademark in Russia in a bid to stop copycat stores that are opening up across the country amid Putin’s war on Ukraine.

The country has officially extended the validity of trademarks for the Swedish furniture giant until August 2033, a move brand owner Inter IKEA said was driven by the need to protect the company’s intellectual property rights.

Like many large Western firms, IKEA halted its Russian operations shortly after Moscow sent troops into Ukraine in 2022 and completed the sale of its factories the following year.

Several brands imitating IKEA’s style and colour scheme have since popped up, including a company called ‘Good Luck’.

Other brands have faced the same issue and could follow suit with imitations opening for brands from H&M to McDonald’s.

And in March 2022 a Russian restaurant chain billed as a replacement for McDonald’s revealed a logo that is extremely similar to the fast-food giant’s famous gold arches.

People eat at a former McDonald’s restaurant during reopening under the new brand Vkusno I Tochka in Russia

(EPA)

A trademark registration for the Uncle Vanya franchise was filed with Russian authorities.

Now a trademark registration on the website of the Russian intellectual property agency Rospatent, dated Feb. 2, showed IKEA’s trademarks had been renewed until August 2033.

Other copycat brands opening in Russia

What has replaced them?

Starbucks is now Stars Coffee

McDonalds is now Uncle Vanya’s

KFC is now Crimean Fried Chicken

Ikea is now Good Luck

Dunkin’ Donuts is Donutto

“Inter IKEA Systems B.V. takes the protection of its intellectual property rights very seriously,” Inter IKEA said in an emailed statement.

“As the owner of the intellectual property rights in the IKEA Concept including the IKEA Trademarks, we have the IKEA Trademarks registered across the globe, including in Russia.

“In March 2023 we completed the close down of Inter IKEA Group operations in the country when we sold the IKEA Industry factories. This remains unchanged.”

Ingka Group, which runs most IKEA stores globally, sold its 14 MEGA-branded shopping malls in Russia to Gazprombank Group in September 2023.

Ingka in June 2022 said it was open to returning one day but the conditions were not in place right now. Inter IKEA owns the IKEA brand and manufactures IKEA products, supplying franchisees including Ingka.

Other brands that have stopped selling in Russia:

Starbucks

Starbucks has suspended all business activity in Russia, including shipment of all Starbucks products.

In a statement CEO Kevin Johnson said it will continue to support Russian employees who depend on Starbucks for their livelihood.

Coca Cola

Coca Cola has suspended all business operations in Russia.

“Our hearts are with the people who are enduring unconscionable effects from these tragic events in Ukraine,” the soft drink maker said in a statement.

Hermès

The Birkin bag maker said it was “deeply concerned” by the situation in Ukraine and had decided to temporarily close its stores in Russia and pause all commercial activities.

Levi’s

Levi’s has temporarily halted commercial sales in Russia. The denim brand will also donate more than $300,000 (£228,000) to nonprofit organisations providing aid to those impacted by the war.

Netflix

Netflix has suspended its operations in Russia, cutting all users off from the streaming service.

“Given the circumstances on the ground, we have decided to suspend our service in Russia,” a spokesperson told Reuters.

Inditex

The Spanish retailer, which owns popular high street chain Zara, has halted trading in Russia. Inditex has closed its 502 shops and suspended online sales, Reuters reports.

Ukraine War 24

Ukraine War 24

Read Previous

NATO allies warn Hungary not to hold up Sweden’s membership as US patience wears thin

Read Next

Russian propagandists claim Putin interview will ‘blow up’ US election