The World Trademark Review in cooperation with PĒTERSONA PATENTS - AAA LAW reports: Gleissner trademarks set to be auctioned in Latvia

In cooperation with PĒTERSONA PATENTS – AAA LAW the World Trademark Review reports that in an unprecedented move trademarks owned by Grigorius Holdings, SIA, an entity related to notorious trademark filer Michael Gleissner, are under prohibition of alienation – with an auction planned in the future. This is an opportunity for brand owners impacted by Gleissner’s activity to purchase the rights at nominal rate.

In fact, the World Trademark Review reveals that multi-millionaire Gleissner is owner of approximately 6800 trademarks and 6900 domain names across the world, and Latvia is one of the most popular jurisdictions for filing national trademarks. In total Gleissner owns approximately 1,570 applications in Latvia, which are filed in the name of Gleissner’s companies – Grigorius Holdings SIA and Fashion One Television SIA. In the years of 2015 – 2019 approximately 538 oppositions were filed against Gleissner’s marks.

The World Trademark Review quotes the commentary of the trademark attorney Gunta Zarina concerning dealing with unpaid costs:

There have been recent court rulings which invalidated trademarks owned by Grigorius Holdings SIA due to malicious behavior and bad faith. As part of those rulings, the Gleissner-owned entity was ordered to reimburse the damage caused to their clients. As Grigorius Holdings is a shell company with an untraceable background and non-existing bank accounts, we have encountered obvious difficulties during the recovery process. Now, Grigorius’ bank account is closed and the company does not own other financial resources from which we could recover costs.”

Further, the World Trademark Review expands Zarina’s commentary in relation to the trademark auction process, which at such a large scale has never been conducted in Latvia before:

In order to proceed with recovery of costs, we are planning to organise an auction led by a bailiff. With so many unpaid costs for clients, currently all Grigorius marks are arrested as intangible property and put under prohibition of alienation. This legal step means that the marks cannot be transferred to new owners, sold, or in any other way affected, which could burden the recovery procedure. As this is the only property which Grigorius owns, this is our only chance to recover some finanancial costs for our clients. For that reason, this order and auction are a logical and consequent step in the recovery process.”

The World Trademark Review also informs that the opneing bid for an individual mark wil be the sum of official fees paid to the Latvian Patent Office throughout the registration process.

While, a time and date for the auction has not yet been set due to a pending decision, interested parties who wish to be notified can apply now. As the auction and its rules will be conduceted in Latvian, the potentially interested brand owners would take part based on power of attorney issued to a Latvian representative. The Bailiff will announce how many days before the auction any participants, and any interested parties may apply and also pay the security deposit and the auction participation fee in advance.

Furthermore, the World Trademark Review emphasizes that the auction is a potential opportunity for rights holders that have been impacted by the Gleissner activity and who may want to avoid costly, time-consumer legal actions. However, there is a risk too, explained by Gunta Zarina: “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. Therefore, there is a certain risk that some major brands could be purchased by third parties not related to the trademarks on sale.”

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