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Coca-Cola, Starbucks file to extend trademarks in Russia, newspaper reports

(Reuters) -Coca-Cola and Starbucks have applied to re-register their trademarks in Russia to protect their intellectual property rights after exiting in response to Moscow's invasion of Ukraine in 2022, domestic business newspaper Vedomosti reported.

Coca-Cola filed three trademark applications in April, Vedomosti said, citing documents on the website of Russian intellectual property agency Rospatent.

"Intellectual property assets are of high value and importance to the Coca-Cola Company, and we continuously take steps to enhance and reinforce these assets worldwide," a Coca-Cola spokesperson said in a statement to Reuters. "Our filings in Russia are intended to maintain our trademark rights."

Starbucks filed eight similar applications in Russia at the end of May, Vedomosti reported early this month, citing Rospatent.

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"Starbucks routinely files trademark applications around the world to protect its brand," a spokesperson for the Seattle-based company said.

Reuters was unable to locate the documents on Rospatent. The agency did not immediately respond to a comment request.

Other Western firms such as Swedish furniture giant IKEA have filed similar trademark requests in Russia since shuttering their businesses.

Starbucks, which once had 130 stores and nearly 2,000 employees in Russia, completed its sale in June 2023. The buyers reopened the chain as Stars Coffee.

Coca-Cola officially stopped the sale in Russia of its key brands, Coca-Cola, Sprite and Fanta. Its former Russian division has rebranded as Multon Partners and sells a product called Dobry Cola (Good Cola).

(Reporting by Lucy Papachristou and Gleb Stolyarov; Additional reporting by Richa Naidu; Writing by Lucy Papachristou; Editing by Richard Chang)