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Jan. 10, 2008
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Thousands of Firms in Russia to Be Re-Named
Thousands of Russia’s companies will have to change their names after the fourth section of the RF Civil Code has taken effect this year, Vedomosti reported.
One of the shocking provisions of new regulations is the ban on using official names of the states and/or their derivatives in the brand name of a company after January 1, 2008.

Pursuant to new regulations, only the companies with government’s ownership of above 75 percent may specify their Russian belonging. This threshold means Aeroflot-Russian Airlines will have to go through renaming.

Although Aeroflot has no national carrier status officially, it is the national carrier de facto. Aeroflot management will seek the government’s permission to keep the Russian Airlines word-group in the name, the more so that these words were added with consent of the government and Aeroflot pays duty for using them.

Moreover, if the new laws are interpreted explicitly, the risk extends to companies specifying their foreign origin in the names, Deutche Bank and British American Tobacco, for instance. Indeed, until the respective practice is finally established, it won’t be easy to determine what exact words are to be deemed derivatives for this purpose.

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