Gleissner trademark auction in Latvia goes ahead: brand owners asked to express any interest in bidding within 30 days

In cooperation with Pētersona patents – AAA law, the World Trademark Review (the WTR) reports that over 900 trademark registrations owned by millionaire serial filer Michael Gleissner are set to be auctioned. On its website, the WTR has exclusively compiled a list of the marks on offer, with brand owners asked to express any interest in bidding within 30 days – with a warning that there is a risk the marks could be purchased by unauthorised third-parties.

We remind that currently all valid trademark registrations by Grigorius Holdings SIA, an entity related to notorious trademark filer Gleissner, are placed under prohibition of alienation in an effort to recover outstanding legal costs for the clients of our law firm Pētersona patents – AAA law. Therefore now we plan to organise an auction led by a bailiff.

We note that the first major step of the auction for brand owners is choosing which marks will be available for bidding. Any active trademark owned by Grigorius Holdings SIA (totalling 903) can be put up for auction, with starting bids set to be between €300 and €400 (excluding representation fees). The WTR points out that some of the trademarks available for auction include word marks for BLUE, BOND, GALAXY, HOME, PINK, SHERLOCK and TESLA. The full list of the 903 trademarks available for auction can be accessed in this searchable document created by the WTR.

The Trademark Attorney Gunta Zariņa explains the procedure of the auction:

We are at the first step of organising the auction, which entails identifying all Grigorius Holdings-owned marks which would be of interest to brand owners. As there are 903 marks of potential interest, in order to facilitate the auction process, the marks noted to the bailiff beforehand will be put up for auction first, followed by the rest.

As reported to the WTR about the time scale of the auction,

We anticipate the auction to begin by the end of May or the beginning of June. It will be held for around 20 days online via the official site of all bailiff auctions in Latvia.

As concerns the procedure and language of the auction, we note that the auction is regulated by Latvian laws and communications with the bailiff will be held in Latvian. Therefore, most likely foreign brand owners should appoint a Latvian representative on the basis of a power of attorney, which is notarised and has an apostille.

Further, the WTR expands Gunta’s commentary in relation to the trademark auction process, which at such a large scale has never been conducted in Latvia before and definitely includes some risks to the brand owners:

There is a certain risk that some major brands could be purchased by third parties not related to the trademarks on sale. This is a very unique situation: at the time of the purchase, the bailiff will not do a background check of the potential buyers and their legal rights to do so. The only exception would be Grigorius Holdings, Fashion One Television, Gleissner or other related persons. Furthermore, if brand owners make a decision not to purchase conflicting marks, after the auction ends and the sum of reimbursement is collected, the prohibition of alienation for Grigorius’ marks will be cancelled and they will remain in full force. If that occurs, it could burden the use of brand owners’ marks and even be used as a basis for cancellation actions, especially before the EUIPO.

By the middle of April we invite any brand owner that wants to express interest in purchasing any of the marks to contact us Pētersona patents – AAA law by e-mail  and note the specific trademarks of interest. That information will then be compiled over the next 30 days and given to the bailiff prior to the online auction.

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