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G&P perfects a licensing deal: PJSC Tatneft acquires Neste’s fuel retail business in Russia

Client PJSC Tatneft (Russia)

Description

In July 2019, Finnish corporation Neste Oyj sold its fuel retail business in Russia, which consists of 75 gas stations and a terminal in St. Petersburg to one of the leading Russian oil and gas companies - PJSC Tatneft. The companies also arranged that the gas station network will continue to operate under the Neste brand for 5 years. Thus, in addition to the sales agreement, the parties entered into a license agreement for the use of Neste trademarks. In this regard, Tatneft asked the Kazan office of Gorodissky & Partners for advising on the licensing deal.

Solution

Specialists of the project team headed by the director of the Kazan office, Albert Ibragimov, a Russian and a Eurasian patent attorney, and Ramzan Khusainov, senior lawyer, a Russian trademark attorney, conducted due diligence of the Neste trademark portfolio (more than 30 marks) in the interests of Tatneft. Our specialists also studied the draft license agreement for compliance with mandatory requirements of Russian law, prepared a legal opinion and recommendations on the license deal, took part in negotiating the terms of the transaction with Neste trademark attorneys and legal consultants, and handled state registration of the license.

Result

Rospatent registered the license deal in June 2020. Under the terms of the license, Tatneft obtained the right to use Neste trademarks on the acquired gas station network for 5 years in the S-Petersburg, Novgorod and Pskov Regions, as well as in St. Petersburg city.

The licensed portfolio includes word, graphic and combined marks, as well as various design elements of gas stations protected as 3D trademarks.

According to Nail Maganov, General Director of Tatneft, «the acquisition of Neste's retail business in the North Western Russia, which is one of the highest priority regions for Tatneft, is a significant contribution to the achievement of our strategic goals, including the marketing of approximately 50% of our own domestically produced fuels. One of the key priorities in developing and operating Tatneft’s retail network is to minimize environmental impact. Neste is one of the leaders in this field in Russia, which would allow us to expand and promote the best practices in this area throughout our operation”.

Along with Gorodissky & Partners, one of the top 10 largest international law firms in the world, specializing in cross-border transactions also participated on behalf of Tatneft in this project. Advisers on the side of Neste were one of the leading British law firms in the field of corporate and commercial matters, as well as the Russian branch of a large international law firm with headquarters in Helsinki.

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