Factbox: Unlawful use of trademarks during election campaigns

RIA Novosti on Saturday denied media reports that it helped carry out a controversial opinion poll ahead of Turkey’s general election next month and is considering taking legal action. Here is a factbox of the main cases of unlawful use of trademarks in the world in recent years.

In May 2011 two Ukrainians – Oleh Kabich and Jaroslav Kochuba were arrested in Moldova for issuing fake copies under the trademarks of Timpul de Chisinau and Ziarul de Chisinau papers. The fake copies contained articles slamming two of the candidates running for the post of the mayor of Chisinau.

In time of the December 2010 presidential elections in Belarus the online service of Radio Liberty issued an article saying that according to an exit-poll carried out by Russia’s agency Inside PR, incumbent President Alexander Lukashenko has scored only 37.8 percent of the votes and the rest of the candidates have scored the total of 42 percent of the votes. Inside PR denied link to any exit polls. Later Radio Liberty told RIA Novosti that the poll was held by a Belarusian opposition party.

In November 2010 the Oscar-winning actor Morgan Freeman said he never recorded any ads for Republican congressional candidate B.J. Lawson and that he does not support Lawson’s candidacy- despite the candidate’s initial claim that he did.

In February 2009 Andrei Makarevich, the leader of the Russian rock-band Mashina vremeni, called on Israel’s Central Election Committee to remove from vote the party of repatriates “Lev” for using his song in an election campaign video without permission.

In July 2008 the election campaign team of Senator John McCain launched campaign ad which mocked Barack Obama as a self-important celebrity along the likes of Britney Spears and Paris Hilton. “Miss Hilton was neither asked, nor did she give permission, for the use of her likeness in the ad,” the celebrity’s spokesman said in a statement. Spears’s rep has declined to comment.

In August 2005 Angela Merkel found herself in an embarrassing row with the Rolling Stones after her party insisted it had the right to play the band’s 1973 hit “Angie” to promote her at election rallies. However the Stones’ agent has complained that no one from Merkel’s Christian Democratic party had sought permission from the band to play the song.

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