Judgements of the Courts of the Republic of Lithuania
Trade in Analogues: An Infringement of Design Rights and Trade Mark Right
By the ruling of 3 November 2016 in the civil case No e2A-722-798/2016 the Court of Appeal of Lithuania rejected the appeal of the defendant, i.e. the private limited liability company Europlastas, concerning decision of 19 February 2016 of Vilnius Regional Court according to the claim of the plaintiffs G. T. and Orac N. V. against the defendant, i.e. the private limited liability company, concerning unlawful use of the registered Community designs, the Community trade mark and copyright and termination of unlawful actions and the defendant’s counterclaim against the plaintiffs concerning invalidation of the designs.
The defendant has not appealed the part of the decision of the court of first instance whereby its counteraction concerning invalidation of the Community designs of the plaintiff G. T. has been dismissed.
The Court of Appeal of Lithuania has rejected the statements that the plaintiffs have failed to provide any evidence supporting that the plaintiff Guy Tailieu is an author of the designs, that no documents evidencing their rights to the afore-mentioned designs were provided and; thus, the plaintiffs have failed to prove that the plaintiff Guy Tailieu is an appropriate copyright holder set out in the defendant’s appeal. The Court has noted that, according to the Law on Copyright and Related Rights and the case-law of the court of cassation, the copyright to a work is presumed to the author of the work and the copyright is applicable to published and not published works expressed in any objective form irrespective of the form, purpose and value of the work, or whether the name is indicated or not.
The Court also has not accepted the defendant’s criticism concerning assessment of the similar overall impression created by the designs, i.e. although the provided evidence has certain deficiencies, according to the court, the evidence is complementary and suggests that the overall impression created to the consumer does not differ in terms of the plaintiffs’ design and the products sold by the defendant.
The Court has also accepted the assessment of the court of first instance that use of the plaintiff’s Community trade mark ORAC DEKOR in the defendant’s price list is not permitted comparative advertising; thus, use of such sign is deemed to be infringing the rights of the proprietor of the trade mark and unfair competition.
The appeal has been partially satisfied only in respect of the awarded property damage claim by reducing the amount of awarded losses to the amount of EUR 6,054.07, i.e. the profit actually earned by the defendant.
Registration of the Domain Identical to the Name of the Legal Person Is Unlawful
By the decision of 9 November 2016 in civil case No. e2-3691-881/2016 Vilnius Regional Court satisfied the claim concerning protection of the infringed rights to the name of the legal person, invalidation of registration of the domain name and transfer of the domain name to the plaintiff brought by the plaintiff 4energia UAB against the defendant T. K.
Although the defendant has maintained that the domain name was registered with a view to using it, the court has found that, in the given case, the defendant has proved that the defendant registered the domain name 4energia.lt although he did not have rights and legitimate interests in respect of the name.
The Court has drawn such conclusion taking into account the fact that the defendant has not used the domain name in offering goods or services from the moment of registration of the domain name, i.e. as from 24 July 2012. The defendant is a natural person whose name and surname is not associated with the plaintiff’s name 4energia. The defendant has not used the domain name in good faith and seeks for a ransom for the domain name because he has announced sale of the domain name on several websites. The Court has rejected the defendant’s reasoning that he has acquired the domain name with a view to development of a website in relation to energy activity of people, i.e. advertising of different active leisure services, energy activity increasing beverages and food products, since the defendant has failed to provide any evidence supporting the afore-mentioned statements to the court as required by the rules of evidence set forth in Article 178 of the Code of Civil Procedure.
By the action the plaintiff also requested to recognise its right to the domain name 4energija.lt, the request has also been satisfied according to paragraph 76 of the Regulation for the .lt Top-Level Domain names which provides for that the Registry of Domain names shall cede the rights to the specific domain name to another person not by the domain name holder’s will subject to one of the following grounds: the enforceable decision of a court (arbitration), obliging the domain name holder to cede the rights to the specific domain name to a specified person; an enforceable court (arbitration) decision to recognize another person’s rights to the specific domain name.