Final ruling: Court confiscates Belsat TV equipment seized over trademark case

Ales Liubianchuk (archival photo)

The case of Belsat TV ‘illegal use of the Belsat trademark’ got unexpected continuation.

On Tuesday Pershamayski District court in Minsk ruled to confiscate some equipment that was seized from Belsat TV during the search in March (two computer processing units, two monitors, two disk drives, a laptop and a video camera ). The verdict was delivered by judge Anastasiya Papko.

In addition, the judge imposed a fine of BYN 980 rubles on cameraman Ales Liubianchuk for the illegal use of the Belsat trademark.

“I think everything is clear: it is not about copyright abuse, it is about freedom of speech and censorship,” Liubianchuk commented on the verdict.

The cameraman managed to get back his personal belongings – a Go Pro camera and a photocamera which were also seized in the spring of 2017. Law enforcement officers failed to prove that Liubianchuk used them when contributing to Belsat TV.

The case about the Belsat trademark has lasted for about five years. According to the BELSATplus company owner, our channel has violated the interests of his business. The businessman appealed to the Supreme Court of Belarus, but it did not satisfy his demands.

Then BELSATplus company owner tried to ban our channel from using the Belsat TV trademark. At first, the Supreme Court dismissed the claims.

The re-examination of the case was initiated by the Presidium of the Supreme Court, and the case was heard by another panel of judges. On September 4, 2014, the court granted the appeal of Andrey Belyakou and banned our channel from using the “Belsat TV” trademark for broadcasts on the territory of Belarus and on the web page.

In 2017, Belyakou filed another complaint against Belsat TV.