Eurodita VS Tuindeco
Lithuanians who succeeded in court against a Dutch company urge entrepreneurs to be vigilant
In Europe, successfully trading Lithuanians came under a vigorous attack from competitors
The success of Lithuanians in Europe induced a Dutch company to take unfair competitive measures
Post source taken and translated from:
The “Eurodita log cabins” company, trading in log cabins, has won in legal proceedings against a Dutch company which tried to prove that the Lithuanian company had succeeded in an illegal manner. The head of Eurodita, JSC claims that they were confronted with unprecedented methods in an effort to expel them from the market as an undesirable competitor. He urges Lithuanian entrepreneurs to be vigilant, as major market players may go to extremes.
The company supplies log cabins produced by the Lithuanian producer, “Eurodita log cabins”, both to Lithuanian and foreign customers. Almost ten years’ experience has helped Lithuanians to successfully entrench themselves in Europe. Therefore, the claim of the Dutch company stunned the entrepreneurs. The Dutch company “Tuindeco International”, trading in log houses and cabins, referred to a court in Lithuania claiming that the Lithuanian company had copied the design of cabins and sold them illegally. The Dutch company asked the court to prohibit its Lithuanian competitors from advertising and selling products that were similar to the production traded by them.
At the commencement of legal proceedings, the activities of Eurodita were paralysed. The assets of company were seized and they were not able to fulfil their customer obligations. The judicial disputes commenced right before the beginning of the log cabin sales season. Rolanas Kutra, the Director of Eurodita log cabins, JSC is confident that the Dutch company chose such a period of time on purpose, in order to get the Lithuanian competitor out of their way.
“We have heard about attempts of this company to control the market, but we were not expecting such actions at all. We lost our clients and their confidence in us. Just our material losses have amounted to 1.5 million euros, whereas the long-term damages will be four times higher. Although we won a victory, the Dutch company managed to slow down our activities and damage our reputation. It will take a lot of time before we recover everything that we had attained with hard and persistent work”, stated Rolanas Kutra.
It is most likely that the success of the Lithuanian company in Great Britain was the motive for the Dutch company to go to court. In Great Britain, Eurodita log cabins, JSC sells log cabins of the same design for a lower price than the Dutch company. The Lithuanian company was accused of making illegal use of the good reputation of the Dutch company amid the high demand for such cabins. The Dutch company requested the court to charge the Eurodita Log cabins company more than 200,000 euros for compensation of damages.
However, the Dutch company failed to prove the originality of its design of log cabins. After almost a yearlong litigation, on 9 December of this year, the Kaunas Regional Court admitted that the design of the cabins has no distinguishing features, as it is a common object of trading practice, and rejected the claim of the Dutch company.
In the opinion of the head of Eurodita, there may be other similar attempts to cope with competitors in the future, so he urges Lithuanian entrepreneurs to be vigilant. “During this difficult year I have gained valuable experience and knowledge, enabling me to help other companies facing a similar situation. Our aim is to inform the producers and sellers of log cabins in Lithuania and all Europe about the methods applied by the company introducing itself as a market giant against other competitors. The same drastic measures may also be applied in the markets of other products. After all, it is impossible to prohibit a Lithuanian craftsman from carving wooden horses just because some major company has already been selling them. It is the same as prohibiting the baking of pizza with salami and cheese just because many years ago, someone was the first who baked it this way”, stated Rolanas Kutra.