Крылова и партнеры / Intellectual property protection / Firm name
If you own a business, organization, etc. (legal entity), then you automatically become the owner of such object of intellectual property as a brand name that your company has received at the time of registration in the corresponding state authority. In this case special registration in the Patent Office is not required.
According to the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property, which Ukraine is a part of, company name, along with the inventions, utility models, industrial designs and trademarks related to industrial property. According to Article 8, brand name is protected in all countries that have acceded to the Convention, without the mandatory filing or registration and irrespective of whether it is part of a trademark.
If the trademark is capable of distinguishing the goods or services of the enterprise, the brand name enables us to identify manufacturers of these products or services, and characterizes the company s reputation and position in the market. Therefore, for companies with good reputation it is very important to not have company name used by other market participants, misleading consumers of their products.
In Ukraine, there is a sufficient legal basis for protection against misuse of company name. These are: “Regulations on the firm” from 22.06.1927 and the Law of Ukraine “On protection from unfair competition” from 7.06.1996, under which every owner of a business (and therefore the brand name) may require a court order or the order of the Antimonopoly Committee of ending the use of identical or similar brand name, and reimbursement of damages caused by such use.
Law of Ukraine “On Amendments to the Law of Ukraine “On Entrepreneurship”” from 05.04.2001 № 2356-II (Article 2) prohibits the use of identical names to names of another objects of business, entered in the corresponding register.
The conflict on brand names arises, if the interests of their respective owners collide in the market. As example of such a conflict could be recalled a judicial dispute between LLC “Alfa Capital Ukraine” and FSA “Alfa Capital” because of the similarity of company name.
Brand name can be further protected by registering it as a mark for goods and services. On the other hand there may be a conflict between the brand name and trademark (for example, dispute between the JSC “Arguments and Facts” and the owner of the trademark “Arguments and Facts. Ukraine”).
Before you begin the process to protect your interests, you should carefully examine the situation and consult with experts to avoid being unwittingly in the role of victim, for example, because of an earlier priority.
Patent Attorneys of our firm will help you analyze the situation and find the optimal solution to the problem.