With retailers have demanded payment for video ads in stores

Advertising Agency “White cedar”, which owns a patent for a system of video advertising in stores, sent letters with claims against names such as Adidas, Zara, Beefree and others, inviting them to enter into a formal license agreement. As highlighted in the letter signed by the CEO of “White cedar” Jeanne Mishka (RBC), the Agency has the exclusive right to use such a system, the license cost for each outlet is calculated based on the rate of 2 thousand rubles per one screen per year.

Jeanne Koshevaya RBC confirmed the authenticity of the letter.

A patent from the past

As follows from the database of Rospatent, patent No. 2169949 “on video in the areas of sales as a way of advertising of the goods” was issued in April 2000. The author and the patentee was Maxim Korolev, the founder of the Agency “White cedar”. In August 2000, the Agency established the first screens for advertising in-store “Avoska” in the South of Moscow. Later installation of the screens was to address the Queen, together with Oleg Salo and Vyacheslav Petrov, the company Sapeko Technologies. The video system in the cash registers area allowed to advertise, including the banned on TV alcohol and tobacco. How to write “Vedomosti”, the project is planned to invest $2 million In the initial phase monitors have been installed in 20 stores in Moscow, their number is planned to increase to 150 by the end of 2001. However, these plans were not implemented. Sapeko Technologies ceased operations in 2002. In the future the right to the patent was transferred several times since the summer of 2012 and it belongs to the OOO “Advertising Agency “White cedar”.

As explained RBC Queens, “this invention is one of the few Russian developments in modern advertising that has proven over the 17 years of its viability”. “The certificate took several years due to the opposition of experts of Rospatent many foreign proprietary solutions from electronic shelf labels to the screens on the trucks, but we were really the first and in the idea and its materialization,” he says.

After receiving patent rights in 2012, “White cedar” referred to the non-exclusive right to use the company “Video of Interneshnl” (now — national advertising Alliance, NDA). The press service of the NRA did not comment on the RBC this topic.

However, the CEO of the company “Screen Media” (“daughter” of the NRA) Irek Tenishev confirmed to RBC that “Video international” really has a nonexclusive right to use this patent; he considers the legitimate claims of the right holder for the payment. “The owner is entitled to sue any person who uses a patented invention for their own purposes (including material gain). Further, the parties will determine whether an existing method of distribution of advertising under the patent or not,” said the Tenishev RBC.

No NDA, no “Screen Media” RBC did not disclose terms of the patent “White cedar”.

The Tenishev also noted that “Screen Media” works with networks that are included in X5 Retail Group. Monitors broadcasting advertising, is currently installed in approximately 48% of the shopping network “Crossroads” (267 stores), confirmed RBC representative of the press service of X5 Retail Group. According to him, the network signed a contract with “Screen Media” — on this basis, the company sets up displays and arranges the broadcast of audio and video content in shops.

Unexpected payment

In the “White cedar” understand that the majority of retailers might not know that the technology for placing ads in stores patented. With this in mind, the Agency proposes, in the case of a contract “Amnesty” for the entire preceding period. “This is our voluntary discount for bona fide licensees. In the absence of intentions on your part in the conclusion of the license contract, the Agency reserves the right to judicial and administrative protection of their legitimate interests,” the letter reads.

“Now we get only a license income, indoor-is not relevant for us business, says Koshevaya. — We know better than most that make money on this is very hard and not going to create any problems shopping.” In her words, “in the early 2000s in the development of the first system for this method of advertising I have invested about $300 thousand”. “It’s now a similar system can be assembled as [design] from ready-made Lego blocks, and at that time had to deal with wild number of problems both in hard and soft,” she explains.

Koshevaya emphasizes that a number of major retailers are using displays in the areas of sales, however, do not make any deductions to the owners of the patent. “Magnet”, “Dixie”, a network alkomarketov “Red and White” do not have a license agreement for the broadcast of such advertising,” says Koshevaya.

Representatives of the “Magnet” and the network alkomarketov did not respond to a request RBC. In a press-service GK “Diksi” said that currently do not use advertising on the monitors.

The difficulty recalculation

CEO of INFOLine Ivan Fedyakov noted that retailers are not engaged in screens — they rent them out to advertising operators who provide them. “So the question to the lawyers, who should be responsible for such royalties. Retailers will likely put the responsibility on operators,” suggests the expert. It is difficult to estimate the share of secured screens of Russian stores, but noted that they are in most modern hypermarkets and their number amounts to thousands.

According to the Association of communication agencies of Russia, the volume of the advertising out of home segment in the first quarter of 2017 amounted to 10.5–10.7 billion rubles, which is 12% more than the same period last year. The entire volume of the Russian advertising market for the period amounted to 91-92 billion.

Interviewed by RBC lawyers estimate the prospects of the case quite restrained. According to the lawyer Alexander Karabanov, to prove in court the fact of “illegal” use of screens and to calculate the amount of damages is difficult. “By sending letters with the offer to pay for the registration of the license, “White cedar” operates on the principle “and suddenly you’re lucky”, he said, adding that a related and low price requirements (2 thousand RUB over the screen). He doubts that the Agency will go to court in case of voluntary failure to pay examination and the courts is long and costly affair.

Director General of the legal company “Jurvista” Alex Petropolskaya agree that “expose” potential offenders the Agency will be difficult, especially if shops are not in Moscow and in the regions. “That is, who is next — should be afraid to pay, and who is far you can use, because “not get,” he says.