Billionaire Elon Musk’s corporation demanded that the defendant change its name, as it coincides with the name of its own subsidiary, Starlink. The brand has become known all over the world thanks to satellite internet. Starlink dishes provided coverage in Ukraine under combat conditions. But the Kiev Economic Court was not convinced by all this.
SpaceX dispute with Ukrainian Starlink
In November 2022, Elon Musk’s company sued the Ukrainian company Starlink and Ukrpatent. SpaceX demanded early termination of the rights to the trademark and oblige the institution to make changes to the registry. SpaceX was not happy about the fact that the name of its “daughter” and the Ukrainian company are the same.
Before filing a lawsuit, the American corporation turned to the Ukrainian company with a request to rename it. In Ukraine, they were ready to start negotiations, but only on the condition that the American IT giant compensates for all the costs associated with changing the name. But, apparently, it did not work out, and therefore the Americans went to court.
In early March, the Kiev Economic Court dismissed the claim of Musk’s company.
Why did the court refuse
Starlink LLC was registered in Ukraine in 2011, and an application for registration was submitted even earlier – in 2010. At the same time, the “daughter” of the American SpaceX – “Starlink Ukraine” – began registering a trademark in Ukraine only in 2020 and completed in April 2022.
What is Starlink
Starlink is a global satellite system created by SpaceX. It provides access to the Internet in places where it can be unreliable, expensive or completely inaccessible.
Since 2022, Starlink has been used by the Armed Forces of Ukraine in their work.
In October 2022, Russia launched the first satellite of the Sphere project, an analogue of OneWeb and Starlink, into space. It will have to distribute the Internet from space, but it is not known when it will work.