News (#01-02 January-February 2018)


EU Court allowed premium brands to ban sale of goods on Amazon and eBay

Premium brands from the European Union have received the right to prohibit the sale of their goods on online sites like Amazon or eBay. Such a decision was adopted by the European Court of Justice.

The judicial explanation to the lawsuit brought by the German division of the cosmetics manufacturer Coty, which owns, amongst others things, brands like Calvin Klein and Marc Jacobs, stated that in this way trademarks may maintain the premium image of their products.

The lawsuit on prohibiting the sale of its products through the German branch of the giant online retailer Amazon brought by Coty, the owner of 77 brands with an annual turnover of about EUR 7.6 billion, against the authorized distributor of its products, is being considered in a Frankfurt court.
The latter decided to receive a verdict from the European colleagues. The Competition Authority of the Federal Republic of Germany has noted that it is studying the decision of the EU Court.

The industry association in the field of computer and communication technologies has called the verdict bad news for consumers who will have less choice.

Court seized Kurchenkos UMH property

The Pechersk District Court of Kiev seized securities, corporate and intellectual rights, as well as part of the real estate owned by Serhiy Kurchenko. The prosecutor and investigators of the Prosecutor Generals Office investigating cases of the former President Viktor Yanukovych, petitioned for seizure of UMH property, whose final beneficiary is Mr. Kurchenko, who is said to be residing in Russia now.

Lifecell appealed AMCU decision

The Kiev Economic Court of Appeal admitted the complaint filed by Lifecell operator demanding to consider its suit against the Antimonopoly Committee of Ukraine heard in the Commercial Court of Kiev. Lifecell is trying to appeal against an AMCU decision imposing a fine of UAH 19.5 million, but the court of first instance returned a claim filed by Lifecell without its consideration.

A reminder that in September 2017, the AMCU fined mobile operator Lifecell
UAH 19.5 million for violations of the law on protection against unfair competition.
The operator informed about per-second billing in its advertisements, but charged the cost of a minute for the first second of every subsequent minute.

High Court of Justice in London put end to dispute over Sky Mall

On 5 January 2018, the High Court of Justice in London adopted a resolution in a lengthy dispute between Arricano Real Estate Plc and Stockman Interhold SA in relation to the sale of a share acquisition option in holding company Assofit Holdings Limited. By this decision the High Court of Justice finalized and placed a hold on Stockmans request to challenge rulings of courts in England related to this issue.

As of the date of the resolutions adoption by the High Court of Justice in London, the shares of Assofit Holdings Limited were not transferred, and the shopping and entertainment mall Sky Mall was not returned to Arricanos ownership.

A reminder that the dispute between Sky Mall co-owners, Arricano Commercial Real Estate owned by Estonian businessman Hillar Teder and Stockman Interhold SA, controlled by Andrey Adamovsky, a Canadian of Ukrainian origin, has been going on for many years. In 2009, to complete the malls construction, Mr. Teder involved Andrei Adamovsky in the project, and the latter provided USD 40 million in exchange for a controlling stake. HillarTeder agreed on condition that he would have a call-option (right of redemption) regarding the stake belonging to Andrei Adamovsky.

Starbucks wins trademark dispute

Starbucks won a case in the European Court of Justice on the trademark registration of Coffee Rocks. In September 2013, EU citizen Hasmik Nersesyan applied for the registration of the Coffee Rocks trademark.

In February 2014, Starbucks Corp. filed a complaint, claiming that the logo of the Coffee Rocks trademark is similar to the previously registered trademarks of the American company. Starbucks believed that there was a clear visual, imaginative and conceptual similarity between trademarks.

On 24 May 2016 the EU Office for Intellectual Property (EUIPO) rejected the complaint of Starbucks, after which the company filed a lawsuit demanding cancellation of this decision.

The EU Court upheld Starbucks and overturned the EUIPO decision. The court noted that the main symbols of the trademarks had a visual similarity. The Court stated, in particular, that the trademarks had similar elements of figures in the center, and elements of words also had the same structure.

The similarity was further strengthened by using the same black and white color highlighting the central element, and by using the same font for the elements of the words Starbucks coffee and Coffee rocks.

Global arrest of Ihor Kolomoyskyi and Gennadiy Bogolyubov assets

On 19 December 2017, the High Court of England and Wales issued an order for the worldwide seizure of the assets of Ihor Kolomoyskyi and Gennadiy Bogolyubov, as well as of six companies that are allegedly owned by them.

The court ruled to seize property of each of the oligarchs said to be worth
USD 2.6 billion. This seizure can be withdrawn if the defendants post bail in the amount of USD 2.6 billion or of a different amount the parties may agree upon.

The order for the seizure of assets was issued on the basis of detailed evidence submitted to the court, from which it follows that Mr. Kolomoyskyi and Mr. Bogolyubov, through a series of illegal transactions, withdrew almost USD 2 billion from the bank, resulted in the transfer of funds to companies that they secretly owned or that were under their control. It is also noted that through this litigation PrivatBank is going to return more than USD 2.5 billion with interest.

It was also reported earlier that PrivatBank appealed to the London court to return withdrawn funds and to pay off the banks unfulfilled obligations regarding refinancing. PrivatBank is represented by Hogan Lovells in the court.

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