Belsat TV to stand trial yet again

The Presidium of the Belarusian Supreme Court has adjudged a reconsideration of our channel’s case which was closed in late January. In ten days the Court is to substantiate its decision and set a date for the next hearing.

‘From my perspective, this is an attempt to influence Belarusian mass media before the [2015 presidential] elections’. [The authorities] are eager to keep them under pressure, in abeyance. It is curious that this [decision] is synchronous with the recent visit of Deputy FN Alena Kupchyna to Warsaw and declarations of improving Belarusian-Polish relations,’ Mikhas Yanchuk, Belsat TV’s official representative in Minsk, said today.

On January 27, 2014 the Supreme Court did not settle the claims of Andrey Belyakou, the owner of company BELSATplus, who accused television Belsat TV of illegal using its trade mark and wanted the court to ban us from it. Moreover, he insisted on making satellite ASTRA stop Belsat’s transmission.

‘The judicial panel believes that the plaitiff failed to adduce evidence of the defendant’s violating the exclusive rights of using trade mark BELSAT in the territory of Belarus <…>. The evidence provided do not prove the defendant’s using the trade mark in the territory of Belarus. [The trade mark was used] neither during Belsat TV’s broadcast nor on its website,’ the judgement said.

On June, 13 it became known that Andrey Fedartsou, a Deputy Chair of the Supreme Court, ordered to take a second look to the case. According to him, the verdict was delivered without giving ‘careful consideration’ to the problem.

Our TV channel and its domain name were registered in Poland. As we do not broadcast from the territory of Belarus the trade mark does not fall within its jurisdiction. Furthermore, the channel is registered as Belsat TV; the registration name of the unitary enterprise is BELSATplus (certificate No 190991566).

Mr Belyakou’s company sells satellite and cable TV equipment. In conformity with the law, one cannot block a trade mark unless it is used in the field given, i.e. broadcasting and production of TV programs). BELSATplus has not been engaged in the activities mentioned.

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