Yandex has been fined 10-thousand rubles ($135) for advertising the websites of a counterfeit company through the Yandex Direct platform.
The Moscow Arbitration Court collected 10 thousand rubles from Yandex. compensation for the placement of advertising “Institute of Energy Efficiency”, which sells counterfeit goods, reported on August 6 RAPSI.
The claimant and recipient of the compensation was the Termoform Production and Trade Company LLC – the copyright holder of the Sital and Sital trademarks, under which it manufactures ball valves and butterfly valves for heat power engineering and the oil and gas industry.
In court, Yandex representatives stated that the company does not deal with disputes over trademarks, and the offer for displaying advertising contains an indication of the advertiser’s responsibility for violating such rights.
But Yandex was unable to fight off the claims of the copyright holder: the court found the measures taken by the search engine insufficient to stop the violation of rights, since Yandex had the opportunity to identify the violation. The terms of Yandex’s offer on the liability of the advertiser cannot serve as a basis for releasing the search engine from liability, since this offer does not apply to Termopharm, which has not entered into an agreement with Yandex.
Setting Legal Precedent
Lawyers believe that this court decision will affect further judicial practice, and Internet services will become more scrupulous about checking certificates on the legality of work and services.
It also became known today that online services ivi, Avito, CIAN, Profi.ru, Tutu.ru, Drom.ru, 2GIS, and Zoon have complained to the FAS about Yandex’s unfair competition in the search market.
There is already some precedent in the FAS stepping in and ruling on monopoly complaints within the Russian search industry, as they ruled against Google in April 2017 for their monopolistic behavior on smartphones (Android being the most popular OS in Russia).
This ruling saw a switch in Yandex becoming the most popular search engine on Smartphones, taking its dominance in the market to both mobile and desktop. If the FAS rule further, this could see Yandex’s product portfolio and influence on markets become affected – and likewise Google’s with their products and services.