Ukrainian Supreme Court Upholds Antimonopoly Committee Decision in Unfair Competition Case

Mar 7 2023 - 15:20

The Ukrainian Supreme Court recently upheld the decision of the Ukrainian Antimonopoly Committee to impose a fine of EUR 295,000 (USD 360,000) on the Ukrainian pharmaceutical company Zdorovye LLC for violating the local competition protection legislation by using a confusingly similar packaging design as its competitor. The defendant’s appeal of the Committee’s decision in court lasted for almost two years.

Ukrainan drug manufacturer Darnitsa Pharmaceutical Company PrJSC initiated the proceedings, claiming that Zdorovye designed the packaging for its Citramon-Zdorovye tablets as a copy of Darnitsa’s Citramon-Darnitsa, a well-known pain relief medicine among the average consumers in Ukraine. The Antimonopoly Committee concluded that the similar packaging designs may cause a likelihood of confusion. This was also confirmed by a consumer survey organized by the Antimonopoly Committee specialists, with 90,5% of respondents stating that the design of the two packages is almost identical.

Zdorovye LLC appealed the decision in court. While the first instance court supported the Committee’s position, the Court of Appeal stated that the Committee’s decision was invalid. The Supreme Court, in turn, ruled that the Court of Appeal came to a groundless conclusion that the Committee did not have the right to conduct a consumer survey, therefore failing to fulfill its duty to evaluate all the evidence submitted by the parties. The Supreme Court sent the case back for reconsideration, after which the Court of Appeal upheld the Committee’s decision, which has recently entered into force.

Prepared by: Valentyna Martynenko

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Source: Ligazakon news website

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