ZAPORIZHZHIA REGIONAL DEPARTMENT FINED ENTREPRENEUR FOR MISUSE OF THELABEL “SLONIONOK”
Thus, the owner of the retail chain “Slonionok” in Zaporizhzhia FOP Nikishova L. P. appealed to Zaporizhzhia regional department of the Antimonopoly Committee of Ukraine with the complaint about the competitor’s unfair competition, who used the label “Slonionok” on the face of his baby-goods stores without her permission.
The appellant is the owner of the retail chain, who carries out the retail trade in goods for children and have introduced the label “Slonionok” into the stream of commerce in 2003. Stores “Slonionok” have its original design that provides it with distinctiveness. Besides, the appellant constantly holds activities for maintaining and strengthening the popularization of her stores be dint of advertising in newspapers and magazines, through the Internet and radio.
By means of it, the appellant gained a positive business reputation on the market of retail trade in goods for children and a definite circle of customers, who became regular customers of the goods from retail chain “Slonionok”.
In May 2016, the appellant started receiving questions from customers about the opening of a new store “Slonionok”. Appellant’s customers considered that the applicant is developing a network of her own stores and identified stores “Slonionok” defendant the appellant’s stores.
Subsequent to the results of comparative analysis of the external styling of the external signs, Zaporizhzhia department stated that they are similar to the degree of confusion. The regional department noted that the verbal designation “Slonionok” on the faces of the appellant’s and defendant’s stores is determined by an audible, visual and semantic factors and it can cause tempering of the entity’s business and its entanglement.
The department conducted a survey of consumers, resulting in 93% of respondents believe that the use of one entity store verbal designation that is already used by another entity, can lead to tempering of these entities.
Given that the applicant have been using the label “Slonionok” in the stream of commerce since 2003 and the defendant began to use the designation “Slonionok” on the front of his shop in April 2016, the applicant has a priority to use it.
The legislation on unfair competition provides that the illegal use of signs without entity’s permission (consent) that has previously started using them or similar to them signs in economic activities, which led or could lead to confusion with the activities of this entity is unfair competition.
The Administrative Body of Zaporizhzhia regional department of the AMCU recognized the action of FOP Trofimov A.E. as violation of legislation on protection against unfair competition.
Committing acts by entities that are defined as unfair competition carries a fine up to five percent of the entity’s income (revenue) from sales of products (goods and services) for the last financial year preceding the year in which the fine was imposed.
At the time, when the regional department came to a decision, the infringement was terminated. Entrepreneur FOP Trofimov A.E. posted a sign with the verbal designation “Behemotyk” on the face of his own baby-goods store.
At the time, when the regional department came to a decision, the infringement was brought to a halt. Entrepreneur FOP Trofimov A.E. posted a sign with the verbal designation “Behemotyk” on the face of his own baby-goods store.
Fine for unfair competition amounted to 1575 hryvnas.