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  • Belarusian Supreme Court asks Poland to outlaw Belsat TV trade mark

    The Supreme Court of Belarus calls on the Polish authorities to ban Belsat TV from using its trade mark.

    In Sep­tem­ber, 2014 the Supreme Court of Belarus retried the case Bel­sat­Plus vs Bel­sat TV. Although plain­tiff Andrey Belyak­ou failed to show any new evi­dence, the judges for­bade Bel­sat TV to use its name and trade mark in the ter­ri­to­ry of Belarus and on its web­site.

    Andrey Belyak­ou, the own­er of com­pa­ny BEL­SAT­plus, accused tele­vi­sion Bel­sat TV of ille­gal using its trade mark and want­ed the court to ban us from it.

    Belarus sent doc­u­ments with a sen­tence con­cern­ing the pro­hi­bi­tion to the Dis­trict Court in War­saw. Tak­ing into con­sid­er­a­tion the pro­vi­sions of the country’s Civ­il Code, the Pol­ish side may put the sen­tence into effect and ban Bel­sat TV from using its trade­mark in Belarus. Before tak­ing the deci­sion, the court in War­saw asked the Pol­ish Pub­lic Tele­vi­sion (Bel­sat TV is a struc­tur­al unit of it)  to present its posi­tion on the case.

     Inter­est­ing­ly,  the Supreme Court did not set­tle Mr Belyak­ou’s claims in Jan­u­ary, 2014. But in June Andrey Fedart­sou, a Deputy Chair of the Supreme Court, ordered to take a sec­ond look to the case. Accord­ing to him, the ver­dict was deliv­ered with­out giv­ing ‘care­ful con­sid­er­a­tion’ to the prob­lem.

    It is hard­ly pos­si­ble to put the pro­hi­bi­tion on using Bel­sat TV logo into prac­tice in the ter­ri­to­ry of Belarus because it is reg­is­tered in Poland and the EU, the channel’s direc­tor Agniesz­ka Romaszews­ka Guzy says. For this rea­son the trade mark may be used in satel­lite TV pro­grams and online. Accord­ing to her, the law­suit against Bel­sat TV is polit­i­cal­ly moti­vat­ed, and the ver­dict to ban us from using the trade mark is anoth­er proof of the government’s keep­ing con­trol over the case.

    Our TV chan­nel and its domain name were reg­is­tered in Poland. As we do not broad­cast from the ter­ri­to­ry of Belarus the trade mark does not fall with­in its juris­dic­tion. Fur­ther­more, the chan­nel is reg­is­tered as Bel­sat TV; the reg­is­tra­tion name of the uni­tary enter­prise is BEL­SAT­plus (cer­tifi­cate No 190991566).

    Mr Belyakou’s com­pa­ny sells satel­lite and cable TV equip­ment. In con­for­mi­ty with the law, one can­not block a trade mark unless it is used in the field giv­en, i.e. broad­cast­ing and pro­duc­tion of TV pro­grams). BEL­SAT­plus has not been engaged in the activ­i­ties men­tioned.

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