Acting on behalf of Erial Ehitus OU, TGS Baltic has successfully persuaded the Supreme Court of Estonia to overrule lower courts' rulings that the company's name could not be registered because the word “construction” (Ehitus, in Estonian) in its name was protected as a trademark.
According to TGS Baltic, "the case is significant in the development of business names and trademark law because by agreeing with our approach, the Supreme Court says that when registering a business name, it is not sufficient to technically check whether a similar trademark exists, instead it must be considered from the trademark law perspective."
"According to valid law," TGS Baltic reports, "a sign or a combination of signs which consists of letters, words, or numerals and is protected as a trademark in Estonia must not be used in a business name without the consent of the owner of the trademark, unless the undertaking is engaged in an area of activity in respect of which the trademark is not protected." According to the firm, "in making the decision, the registry department and the lower courts erred against the fundamentals of trademark law because they did not consider that the earlier mark is a figurative mark, containing, inter alia, the word element 'construction' and the fact that the word 'construction' is not protected in that class because it is devoid of any distinctive character."
The TGS Baltic team consisted of Senior Associates Mari-Liis Orav and Dmitri Teplohh and Associate Mari Anne Valberg.