News (#09 September 2017)


Ukrnafta filed suit against Cabinet of Ministers

PJSC Ukrnafta has filed a lawsuit to the Kiev District Administrative Court against the Cabinet of Ministers demanding it denounce the regulation, by which the Government introduced changes to procedure for issuing and extending special permits for subsurface use. In addition to the claim, the company also applied for provisional remedy by stopping operation of the challenged regulation.

The government regulation allows the State Service of Geology to extend licenses to oil and gas companies having tax liabilities but exclusively for the fields, where gas supply to adjacent settlements depends on extraction activities thereat.

This document was adopted specifically for renewal of gas supply to a number of villages in Sumy Region, which were left without gas after Ukrnafta halted extraction at 2 fields in the region.

It was reported earlier that Ukrnafta was reviewing its drilling plans due to non-extension of special permits. Prior to that the company stopped extraction at 4 fields in Sumy Region.

Nevertheless, licenses for these fields were never extended, and the regulation itself did not suit Ukrnafta, since it again granted the State Service of Geology with the right not to extend licenses to companies that do not pay taxes in full.

A reminder that the regulation, according to which companies with tax liabilities should be refused extension of mining licenses, was issued on 6 April 2016 (Regulation No.277). This Regulation also became the reason why the State Service of Geology refused to extend Ukrnaftas licenses due to the latters tax liabilities in the amount of UAH 12 billion.

In early 2017, Ukrnafta managed to cancel this Regulation through a court action, but its licenses were still not extended. On 21 June of this year, the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine fulfilled the courts decision and withdrew the regulation on tax liabilities from the list of grounds for refusal of renewal, but on 4 July it adopted Regulation No.519, which actually re-introduced this regulation.

Xiaomi filed lawsuit against Ukrainian distributor

Xiaomi H.K. Ltd filed a lawsuit against NIS, a Ukrainian distributor, and demanded a halt to violation of intellectual property rights.

NIS does not own the rights to the Xiaomi brand. But the trademarks Xiaomi, Mi are registered in the name of Alexander Shirkov, its co-owner and director general, and, since recently, in the name of a certain Concord Trade Inc. (USA). At the same time, Mr. Shirkov registered the mark Mi to provide repair services (in late December 2016). The entrepreneur registered TM Xiaomi in 2014 for the 45th and 37th classes of goods and services. It is noteworthy that Alexander Shirkov is also the owner of the TM of other popular electronics manufacturers of various classes: Meizu, OPPO, Qualcomm, 4K, 8K, etc.

Kiev City Economic Court decided to forward the claim by Xiaomi to the Economic Court of Kiev Region, as it indicates that the place of violation was Boryspil Customs. Xiaomi also tried to ensure that the court adopted provisional remedies, within the framework of which the property would be seized and the customs clearance of goods would be prohibited. But the court refused as Xiaomi forgot to attach copies for SFS and NIS to the claim.

NIS sells Xiaomi products through its online store and through a network of dozens of retail mono-brand stores.

Gucci filed suit against Forever 21

Gucci has filed a lawsuit against American retailer Forever 21. The Italian fashion house requires the court to forbid the company using print with parallel interchanging blue-red and green-red stripes, and also to cancel the previous lawsuit of Forever 21.

Earlier, the mass market brand filed a lawsuit in court requesting the cancellation of registration of the Gucci trademark, since the company management believes that the striped print cannot be someones intellectual property. Representatives of Gucci stated that Forever 21 cannot expect to win because interchanging stripes are a recognizable trademark.

The ongoing battle between Gucci and Forever 21 has already lasted for over six months. In December 2016 representatives of the fashion house sent a letter to the management of Forever 21 in which they asked for items with the house brand image to be removed from sale.

Court sustained lawsuit brought by state-owned Oschadbank against LLC ESU

On 2 August Kiev City Economic Court partially sustained a lawsuit by Oschadbank and decided to recover UAH 955 million of debt from LLC ESU (the owner of Ukrtelecom, whose ultimate beneficiary is Rinat Akhmetov), and also granted the defendant a grace period of one year for execution of this decision.

In 2013 Oschadbank purchased 2 million bonds of LLC ESU with a nominal value of UAH 1,000 each. Currently, Oschadbank is the owner of LLC ESU bonds in the amount of UAH 839.1 thousand pieces (which were to have been redeemed in March, but were not).

LLC ESU filed a petition to postpone execution of the court decision for 5 years till 30 July 2022. In its application the debtor justified violation of terms of interest income payment to the plaintiff from the middle of 2015 due to impossibility to fulfill economic forecasts regarding its development in the conditions of economic recession and inflation processes.

The defendant requests to note that granting of extra time for execution of the court decision will not only ensure protection of the plaintiffs property interests with respect to actual receipt of funds, but also preserve the largest telecommunications operator and tens of thousands of jobs.

Having considered the application for postponing execution of the decision, the court decided to partially sustain the defendants application, namely in the part on postponing execution of the court decision for one year from the day when the court decision entered into legal force.

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