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Alfa Corporation v. Oao Alfa Bank and Alfa Capital Markets (USA), Inc.
United States District Court for the Southern District of New York
475 F. Supp. 2d 357 (2007)
Alfa Corporation (Alfa Corp.) (plaintiff) was incorporated and doing business in the United States. Alfa Bank and Alfa Capital Markets (USA), Inc. (collectively, Alfa Bank) (defendants) were financial-services companies based in Russia. Alfa Bank moved its business into the United States and adopted the name Alfa Bank as a translation of the company’s Russian name. Alfa Corp. sued Alfa Bank for trademark infringement. At trial, Alfa Corp. sought to introduce the expert testimony of Constantine Muravnik. Muravnik sought to testify that the translation of Alfa Bank’s Russian name into English would result in the name Alpha Bank, not Alfa Bank. Muravnik spoke Russian as his first language and was a Russian language and literature professor at Yale University. Muravnik sought to base his testimony in part on internet sources, including Wikipedia, as well as on other written works and his experience as a Russian speaker and professor. Alfa Bank moved to exclude Muravnik’s testimony on the ground that it was based on inherently unreliable internet sources. The district court denied Alfa Bank’s motion. Alfa Bank appealed.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Francis, J.)
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