Aequo also successfully represented Forbes in Ukrainian court in a dispute against UMH PH’s use of the forbes.ua domain name.
Aequo, a Ukrainian law firm, represented Forbes Media on a number of issues related to its American Arbitration Association (AAA) arbitration proceeding against United Media Holding N.V. (UMH), Forbes’ former licensee in Ukraine, in the termination of its license agreement.
The dispute was administered by the International Center for Dispute Resolution (ICDR) under the AAA Commercial Arbitration Rules. In April 2016, the arbitral tribunal rendered a final award in Forbes’ favor, acknowledging Forbes’ right to terminate the license agreement with UMH. The award was based on UMH’s censorship and interference with independent journalistic principles.
The proceeding was unique in that it ruled on issues related to UMH’s failure to preserve the integrity and editorial independence of Forbes Ukraine or protect the trademark.
According to the Arbitral Award, Forbes acted reasonably when it terminated the UMH license agreement. The Arbitral Award also prohibits UMH and its affiliates from using Forbes’ trademarks in any manner, including in connection with publishing a magazine in Ukraine and maintaining the corresponding website. All UMH claims against Forbes were dismissed.
Aequo also successfully represented Forbes in Ukrainian court in a dispute against UMH PH’s use of the Forbes.ua domain name
UMH Publishing House (UMH PH), a subsidiary of UMH, initiated proceedings claiming access to the forbes.ua domain name. UMH PH engaged a technical defendant to unlawfully arrange a remote venue for the litigation. However, Forbes had not been properly summoned until the first instance court decision was enforced.
Aequo’s IP team filed an appeal on behalf of Forbes and represented the company before the Court of Appeals. The team was successful in having that decision cancelled by the Appellate Court, which also dismissed the claims of UMH PH related to the forbes.ua domain name since the first instance court’s decision clearly affected the trademark rights of Forbes and the matter had been considered in the improper venue.
Forbes owns the Forbes trademarks registered in Ukraine and is the registrant of the forbes.ua domain name.