Bulgarian Crane Components Supplier Fined for Unfair Competition in Domain Name Dispute

Nov 28 2012 - 12:15

Last month Bulgaria’s Supreme Administrative Court (SAC) upheld Bulgaria’s Commission for Protection of Competition (CPC) decision against a local company Podem for registering and using a domain name confusingly similar to that of its competitor.

The legal proceedings were initiated upon the request of Podemcrane. The companies are competitors in the field of production and sale of crane components. Both are based in Gabrovo, a city in central northern Bulgaria.

Podemcrane argued that Podem had registered and used domain podem.org, which is confusingly similar to its own domain podem.bg and its registered trademark Podem (Reg. No. 45293, in IC 7 and 9).

In March 2012, the CPC found infringement under Article 35, Paragraph 2 and 3 of the Law on Protection of Competition and fined the defendant EUR 57,500 (USD 73,000).

The provisions in question prohibit the use of a company name, mark or geographical indication, identical or similar to those of other persons, in a manner that may lead to damaging the interests of competitors, as well as the use of a domain name or website design identical or similar to those of other persons in a manner that may mislead and/or damage the interests of competitors.

The CPC also ordered the defendant to change the name of its domain. The infringing domain name has been cancelled.

By: Valeri Penev

For more information, please contact Valeri Penev at our Bulgaria office.

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