THE AMCU ESTABLISHED “NON-ITALIAN” QUALITY OF THE PASTA OF PRAT CHUMAK
According to the instruction of the Anti-monopoly Committee of Ukraine, the Kherson regional department of the Anti-monopoly Committee of Ukraine was authorized to consider the application of a citizen on possible violations of the law against the unfair competition in the actions of PrAT CHUMAK (Kahovka, Kherson Oblast) during the implementation of pasta brand “PASTA PRIMA”.
The following was established during the investigation of the case started by the Kherson regional department on 28/04/2016.
PrAT CHUMAK is a manufacturer and customer of pasta, in particular of the brand “PASTA PRIMA”, which was produced from 2013 till the present.
On the packages of pasta under TM “PASTA PRIMA” under titles “”NOODLES, “PENS”, “SHELLS”, “HORNS”, “SPAGHETTI”, “SPIRALS” the trademark “PASTA PRIMA Italian quality” is depicted.
This trademark does not correspond to the registered trademark “PASTA PRIMA” in State register licences for products and services marks of Ukraine.
The state flag of Italy is depicted under the trademark “PASTA PRIMA”.
The packages of pasta contain the text that “pasta is manufactured with Italian equipment by means of perfect Italian technology”, “Italian quality – Ukrainian price!”.
In this case the usage in the image ТМ “PASTA PRIMA Italian quality” of the description “Italian quality” and the placing of the state flag of Italy on the packages of the product are dominant, and therefore the consumer primarily pays attention to it.
The ordinary customer may fall under the impression that this pasta is produced in Italy according to the relevant Italian standards, and is an imported product.
The department of the AMCU established that PrAT CHUMAK produces pasta under the ТМ “PASTA PRIMA” with Italian equipment purchased by PrAT CHUMAK in Italy, and mechanic works, installation, and commissioning was performed by specialists of this company. However, the confirming documents that the quality of the ТМ “PASTA PRIMA Italian quality” corresponds to the quality and quality indicators of Italy are absent.
The market of producing and implementing of pasta is competitive. The designation on the packages of pasta ТМ “PASTA PRIMA Italian quality” under titles “”NOODLES, “PENS”, “SHELLS”, “HORNS”, “SPAGHETTI”, “SPIRALS” is used in a way that may be misleading, particularly it may attract consumers’ attention and stimulate them to buy this product as foreign product, which can lead to more advantageous position of this pasta in relation to the production of other entities, who produce and implement pasta.
So, PrAT CHUMAK can obtain unfair advantages in competition by strengthening its competitive position not through their own achievements, but by the dissemination of false information.
The Kherson regional department of the AMCU established that by placing the description in English “Italian quality” on the packages of implemented production of ТМ “PASTA PRIMA Italian quality” under titles “”NOODLES, “PENS”, “SHELLS”, “HORNS”, “SPAGHETTI”, “SPIRALS”, and of the state flag of Italy PrAT CHUMAK take actions, which have the signs of the violation of the legislation on protection against the unfair competition provided by the Article 151 of the Law of Ukraine “On protection against the unfair competition” in the form of the dissemination of the misinforming information.
Taking into account that PrAT CHUMAK accomplished the compulsory recommendations provided by the Administrative Body of the Kherson regional department of the Anti-monopoly Committee of Ukraine on 28/04/2016, the absence of the information that could prove that the actions of PrAT CHUMAK led to meaningful constraints or distortion of the competition or caused major damage to the individuals or society, and the appropriate measures for remedy of the violation aftereffects were taken, the proceeding on the law violation on protection against the unfair competition was closed by the regional department on 08/11/2016.
The dissemination of the misleading information is a kind of violation of the legislation on protection against the unfair competition. In the overall structure of violations its part tots up to 90%.
External signs, advertising billboards, slogans, packaging, product labels, promotional stickers and more are under the special attention of the Anti-monopoly Committee of Ukraine. Herewith, the type of market doesn’t matter for the Committee.
Misleading statements may have different forms – oral, illustrated, written. For the recognition by the AMCU of the violation through the dissemination of the misleading information the ways of its presenting don’t matter.
The violations on the market of alcohol and drugs were significant in 2015. Thus, the Anti-monopoly Committee of Ukraine fined TOV Simferopol wine-cognac distillery (Dnipropetrovsk) 14,670,786 hryvnas and TOV Universalne agenstvo Pro-Pharma (Kyiv) 700,000 hryvnas for the dissemination of the misleading information.
Fines for the unfair competition tot up to 5% of the yearly income from the sales revenue (goods, works, services). This should be considered when planning campaigns.
Our team representatives have ten-year experience. It allows us to render professional legal evaluation of your campaigns and, in its turn, to help to prevent the law violation on protection against the unfair competition.