Amendments to unfair competition law come into force
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The amendments to the Law on the Protection against Unfair Competition, which were adopted on December 18 2008, came into force on January 13 2009.
Most significantly, the law now lists the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property among the instruments governing unfair competition in Ukraine.
In addition, Article 4 of the amended law prohibits the unauthorized use of names, commercial names, trademarks, packaging and other designations that have been used by third parties if such use has caused or may cause confusion among the public as to the origin of the goods and/or services. Previously, the law referred only to the “priority” of use, but did not define this term clearly.
Another significant amendment is that the fines imposed for acts of unfair competition (eg, unfair use of a trademark) have been increased. Previously, if the infringer had made a profit from the sale of the infringing goods, the fine amounted to 3% of the profits obtained during the financial year preceding the year in which the fine was imposed. The fine has now been increased to 5% of the profits obtained. Similarly, if the infringer had made no profit from the sale of the infringing goods, the former law provided for a fine of €5,000. The fine has now been increased to €10,000.
Finally, Article 28(1) of the amended law provides for a limitation period of three years from the date on which the act of unfair competition was carried out. If there were several acts of unfair competition, the limitation period will be three years from the date on which the infringement came to an end.
Maria Fomichenko-Zakoutskaja, Konnov & Sozanovsky, Kiev
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