Antimonopoly Committee of Ukraine found in your actions signs of violation of legislation on protection against unfair competition?
What is unfair competition?
According to Article 1 of the Law of Ukraine “On Protection against Unfair Competition”, unfair competition is any actions in competition that contradict trade and other honest practices in economic activity.
What can the Antimonopoly Committee of Ukraine recognize as unfair competition in the market?
– Illegal use of another’s designation – use of another’s name, company name, marks for goods and services, other signs, as well as promotional materials, packaging of goods, indications of origin of goods without permission of an authorized person, which may lead to mixing with the activities of another business entity (entrepreneur), which has priority on the use of intellectual property. (Article 4 of the Law)
– Illegal use of goods of another manufacturer – introduction into economic circulation under its own designation of goods of another manufacturer by changing or removing the manufacturer’s designations without the permission of an authorized person. (Article 5 of the Law)
– Copying the appearance of the product – reproduction of the appearance of the product of another business entity and its introduction into economic circulation without explicitly specifying the manufacturer of the copy, which may lead to mixing with the activities of another entrepreneur. (Article 6 of the Law)
– Comparative advertising – advertising containing a comparison with goods, works, services or activities of another business entity. (Article 7 of the Law)
– Enterprise discredit – distribution in any form of untruthful, inaccurate or incomplete information related to the person or business of the enterprise, which caused or could damage the business reputation of another business entity. (Article 8 of the Law)
– Achievement of unlawful advantages in competition – obtaining such benefits relative to another business entity by violating the current legislation, confirmed by the decision of the state body vested with the relevant competence. (Article 15 of the Law)
– Dissemination of misleading information – a message by a business entity, directly or through another person, to one, several persons or an indefinite number of persons, including in advertising, is incomplete, inaccurate, false information, in particular due to the chosen way of presenting them, silencing individual facts or ambiguities of language that influenced or may affect the intentions of these persons regarding the purchase (order) or sale (sale, supply, performance, provision) of goods, works, services of this entity events. (Article 15-1 of the Law).
What is the most common violation among market participants?
Violation of Article 15-1 of the Law of Ukraine “On Protection against Unfair Competition” – dissemination of misleading information.
What is misleading information for AMCU?
In accordance with the norms of this Law, misleading information is, in particular, information that:
– contain incomplete, inaccurate or false data on the origin of goods, manufacturer, seller, method of manufacture, source and method of acquisition, sale, quantity, consumer properties, quality, completeness, suitability for use, standards, characteristics, features of the sale of goods, works, services , price and discounts on them, as well as the essential terms of the contract;
– contain incomplete, inaccurate or false data on the financial condition or economic activity of a business entity;
– attributed powers and rights that do not have, or relationships that are not;
– contain references to the volume of production, purchase, sale or supply of goods, performance of work, and provision of services that were not actually available on the day the information was disseminated.
What sanctions should be expected from the Antimonopoly Committee of Ukraine if the agency found in your actions signs of violation of the law on protection against unfair competition?
- The Committee may fine you for the violation. Such a fine can be up to 5% of the income (revenue) from the sale of products (goods, works, services) of an enterprise for the last reporting year preceding the year in which the fine is imposed.
- The Committee may, together with the fine, provide an obligation to stop the violation, indicating at the same time what it is necessary to provide the bodies of the Committee to confirm the fulfillment of this requirement.
- Persons who suffered damage because of actions defined as unfair competition may apply to the court for its compensation.
- Persons whose rights have been violated may file a lawsuit with a claim for seizure of the relevant goods with an illegally used designation, copies of the products of another business entity from both the manufacturer and the seller.
- In case of establishing the fact of discrediting a business entity, the bodies of the Antimonopoly Committee of Ukraine have the right to make a decision on official denial at the expense of the violator of the false, inaccurate or incomplete information disseminated by him in time and manner determined by law or this decision.
Should we expect a fine from the AMCU in all cases?
The most common preventive measure of the Antimonopoly Committee of Ukraine is providing mandatory recommendations for consideration, according to which the violator should, for example, stop spreading false information, withdraw from circulation products whose appearance mislead consumers and report on the implementation of the prescriptions set by the Committee within a certain office.
What to do to prevent a violation of the law on protection against unfair competition?
Today, the most common tool for preventing the occurrence of violations of legislation on protection against unfair competition is to contact the Committee’s bodies for appropriate advisory explanations.
What to do if you have already become the object of investigation of the bodies of the Antimonopoly Committee of Ukraine?
To begin with, your company should realistically assess the possibilities to independently defend its interests, that is, whether you are legal department and accounting department has an adequate level of training in understanding legislation on the protection of economic competition.
It should be noted that this legislation is recognized in the world as one of the most complex legislation in the legal system of the state.
Therefore, we advise you not to hesitate and contact the experts in this field who have extensive experience and are always ready to help you.
In particular, the specialists of ADS Legal Group can:
– provide professional advice on unfair competition,
– analyze the advertising materials and advertising campaigns of your company for the presence of signs of violation of the legislation on protection against unfair competition,
– accompany you “from beginning to end” in case the AMCU saw signs of such a violation in your actions;
– help you contact the Committee if someone violated your rights,
– to develop for you effective methods of protection against unfair actions of a competitor.