A Russian court has failed to save “Peppa Pig’s” bacon.
Entertainment One (eOne), who own the “Peppa Pig” franchise, sued Vietnamese media company Sconnect in both Russia and the U.K. over intellectual property infringement. EOne claim Sconnect’s animated show “Wolfoo,” about a young wolf and his anthropomorphic family, are “reworked” versions of the “Peppa Pig” characters.
While the U.K. case is still progressing through the courts, a judge in Moscow has now dismissed the Russian claim, according to Sconnect.
In a media release, the company, which owns a number of YouTube channels aimed at young children, said the Moscow City Court had terminated eOne’s claim against Sconnect “on the protection of exclusive rights to the characters of the animated work ‘Svinka Peppa’ (‘Peppa Pig’). From this definition, it can be concluded no breach of intellectual property rights has been linked to Sconnect’s ‘Wolfoo’ set of characters against EO’s ‘Peppa Pig’ set of characters; while affirming that under the Russian law, EO is unable to file a claim with the same demand against Sconnect in the future.”
Sconnect added they “deny the false accusations” of IP infringement and that eOne had “actively provided unconfirmed information to Sconnect’s partners, causing serious damage on the reputation, honor, property, and business activities of Sconnect in the content creation industry.”
The Vietnamese company, which boasts over 130 million YouTube followers across its channels, says it now plans to file its own suit against eOne in Moscow to claim “compensation for all losses and expenses Sconnect paid during the civil litigation case.”
When approached by Variety, eOne declined to comment on either the Russian or U.K. litigation against Sconnect, including whether the company planned to appeal the decision in Moscow.
The case is at least the second time in recent months eOne have gone to court in Russia over “Peppa Pig,” (or, as she’s known locally, Svinka Peppa). According to reports, in March they sued a Russian entrepreneur called Ivan Kozhevnikov for selling counterfeit Peppa figurines. Initially eOne’s case was dismissed, which many interpreted as retaliation against the West for imposing sanctions on Russia following the Ukraine war, particularly since the U.K. Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, has indicated his children are fans of “Peppa Pig.”
However, according to an exclusive report on ManagingIP.com, in June Russia’s Second Appeal Commercial Court reversed the decision and granted the compensation eOne had demanded, albeit only ₽20,000 ($325), half the requested amount.
Meanwhile, according to the latest filings in the London High Court, the case there is still proceeding, with Sconnect intending to defend the suit.