Brief History of "Baikal" Brand Name

Hrachya H
by Hrachya H
Brief History of Baikal Brand Name (1)

In this article, we’ll take a brief look at the history of creation and intellectual property rights transition of the Russian “Baikal” brand name which I am sure many of you are familiar with. This article is based on one published by Kalashnikov Media.

Image from

The history of the brand starts in the early ’60s when Izhevsk Mechanical Plant master engraver Leonard Vasev designed the logo for this brand name which would become the name of hunting firearms manufactured by IZHMEKH. In 1963, the rights to use the name and logo were given to the Soviet government export organization called “Raznoexport”. From this point, all Soviet firearms and ammunition exported via Raznoexport started to bear the name Baikal.

Later, in 1995, after the collapse of the Soviet Union, IZHMEKH regained the rights of Baikal name and logo by registering it as a trademark in the Russian Federation. According to Maxim Popenker, the author of the Kalashnikov Media article, back in the ’60s, the rights were given to the government with no compensation whatsoever. However, when the company started the registration process of the brand in the ’90s, they had to spend a lot of money to get back the rights of the brand that was created by them.

Sketches of Leonard Vasev, the designer of Baikal logo. Image from

Currently, the Baikal brand is the property of Kalashnikov Concern and it is used on civilian firearms, gear and other products made by the company. It is registered in more than 40 countries. By searching in the database of the Trademark Electronic Search System (TESS) of United States Patent and Trademark Office, I found two records concerning the registration of the Baikal brand in the USA. You can learn more about these records by clicking here and here.

UPDATE: The word Baikal is the name of the largest volume freshwater lake in the world which is located in Russia.


Popenker M. (2018, June 29). “Baikal – история охотничьего бренда”. Kalashnikov Media. Retrieved from:

Hrachya H
Hrachya H

Managing Editor Being a lifelong firearms enthusiast, Hrachya always enjoys studying the history and design of guns and ammunition. Should you need to contact him, feel free to shoot him a message at

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  • Remington used to import Baikal shotguns as re-branded Remingtons. They had a decent coach gun in the lineup.

  • Maxim Popenker Maxim Popenker on Jul 16, 2018

    Please do not mix IMZ (Izhevsk Mechanical Plant) and IZHMASH (Izhevsk Machinebuilding plant). These two were separate factories, now united under Kalashnikov group. "Baikal" brand was and still is assigned to products made at IMZ.