Protection of business reputation is the essential condition of the company’s success. A good reputation can benefit a business in a multitude of ways including: growth of income, trust of partners. It is one of intangible assets as well as copyright, know-how or trademarks. Business reputation can be a matter of envy of the competitors who might try to besmirch it.
Unfair competitors can publish negative comments about professionalism of the company’s employees, activities of the company or quality of its products or services that are at variance with the facts. Such activities of the competitors can hurt the business and lead to substantial losses.
Protection of business reputation is a complicated matter that requires systematic approach and diligent evidence gathering. Not all negative information about the company and its activities can be the subject of a suit on defense of business reputation.
For successful conduct of the case there should be the following three criteria:
- Spreading of information;
- The spread information has damaging business reputation character;
- The information is at variance with the facts.
The limitation of actions regarding claims on spreading information that are at variance with the facts is 1 (one) year from the date of publication of such information.
When you file a suit on protection of business reputation it is important to define the plaintiff in the right way since the rules of protection of business reputation of a citizen can be applied to protection of business reputation of a legal entity. (Exception – rules on compensation of non-pecuniary damage of a citizen). Losses are subject to recovery from the infringer in favour of legal entity or physical person. The amount of compensation depends on the results of the estimation of damage and possibility to recover the reputation.
The article 152 of the Civil Code of the Russian Federation contains the description of non-property claims for protection of business reputation:
- Claims to rebut data that discredit honor, dignity or business reputation of a person in case if the person who spread such information cannot prove that the information corresponds to the facts;
- Publication of the response in the same mass media.
Other Ways of Defense
If the infringer does not execute court judgement, the court has the right to fine such infringer. The payment of the fine does not discharge infringer a liability to act in accordance with the court judgement.
In case it is impossible to determine the person who has spread information that discredit honor, dignity or business reputation of a citizen then this citizen has the right to apply to court and ask to acknowledge that the information is at variance with the facts.
In case your company became a victim of the third parties that discredit your business reputation or if the third parties raise a claim against you then the lawyers of Zuykov & Partners will help defending your interests and protecting your rights.
Any successful organization cares about its business reputation, which is considered the corporate identity. Fake unfavorable comments, negative articles in the media, comparative commercials, and other ways of influencing the consumer are unfair actions to damage the reputation of another company. If the competitors of an entrepreneur spread false information that discredits his business reputation, it is worth fixing the fact of what happened and contacting the competitor with a demand to stop the indicated actions. If a person has ignored the request, then going to court will help protect and restore violated rights.