The Supreme Court of Belarus has been considering businessman Andrey Belyakou’s suit against our channel. A new prosecutor and lawyer have addressed the court today. At the moment the hearing is adjourned.
According to Mikhas Yanchuk, Belsat’s official representative in Belarus, a sentence is to be pronounced at 9 am on September, 4. Today the court have considered Mr Belyakou’s arguments and proofs given: “The prosecutor has given a speech today. Tomorrow the court is to take an ultimate decision. It seems that we are winning the battle but we should wait a bit. Our lawyer has done his best to show the absurdity of the plaintiff’s demands.”
Andrey Belyakou, the owner of company BELSATplus, accuses television Belsat TV of illegal using its trade mark and wants the court to ban us from it. ‘Furthermore, he is seeking suit costs. Besides, he offered other ways of solving the case. According to him, Belsat TV should opt out of using the Belarusian language and turn to any other: ‘for example, Arabic,’he said. Or we should stop broadcasting in the region and shift to, say, Africa.”
On January 27, 2014 the Supreme Court did not settle his claims. But in June, 2014 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. This time another panel of judges is considering the case.
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.