Belarusian Supreme Court asks Poland to outlaw Belsat TV trade mark

20.05.2015 Source: Press service of the Belarusian Association of Journalists

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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