A tiny wool-selling company in Russia has applied to the Federal Service of Intellectual property (Rospatent) to register as its trademark the logo of jailed opposition politician Aleksei Navalny's Smart Voting strategy, which is designed to promote independent candidates at elections.
The application by the Woolintertrading company from the southern Stavropol Krai region was placed recently on Rospatent's website .
There was no immediate comment from Navalny or his associates.
If the application is approved, Woolintertrading would have the sole right to use the Smart Voting logo for all of its business activities and possible political events. According to the Kontur.Fokus database of registered companies in Russia, Woolintertrading has three employees. Navalny's political network has been implementing the Smart Voting strategy for several years.
His associates have been calling on voters in Russia to use the Smart Voting system to support candidates in September parliamentary elections to defeat Kremlin-linked figures and candidates of the ruling United Russia party.
With opinion polls indicating waning support for United Russia, authorities have ramped up pressure on dissent ahead of the September elections.