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Legal briefing notes

Protection of honor, dignity, business reputation, other intangible assets

Business reputation is an intangible asset that includes a set of information about a particular person (a company) defining him as somewhat known in his professional area.

Domestic legislation provides for both the protection of the business reputation of legal and natural entities. This is regulated by clause 11 of article 152 of the Civil Code of the Russian Federation.

How to protect yourself and your reputation?

According to the law, legal entities and natural persons have the right to seek recognition of negative publicity as unreliable as well as to demand a refutation of knowingly false information that damages reputation.

The refutation is posted in the same source where the defamatory information was originally posted (for example, if they were published through the media so then they are refuted in the same media source).

Because some information after its dissemination often gets on the Internet, natural persons and companies have the right to apply to the court requesting the removal of such information.

Additionally, except for refutation, the plaintiff has the right to claim damages and to compensate for non-pecuniary damage from the person who disseminated defamatory information (clause 9, article 152 of the Civil Code of the Russian Federation).

In each particular case, the court will consider the degree of consequences because of the dissemination of information as well as from the amount of evidence of damage presented, that were caused by these actions.

These can be medical documents confirming any diseases and regarding the damages to the reputation the evidence of reduction of the order amount or more frequent refusals to conclude contracts, etc.

Although Russian legislation does not include compensation for non-pecuniary damage to a legal entity in certain circumstances, companies still have the right to seek compensation for non-pecuniary damage that has been caused to their reputation.

What is the process of protection of business reputation in court?

The order and details of the protection of honor and dignity in court depend on the area of activity that concerns the defamatory information relates. For example, if the relationship of the parties involves business or other economic activities (regardless of the status of the person), the case will be considered in a commercial court (according to clause 7, part 6 of article 27 of the Arbitration Procedural Code of the Russian Federation). Meanwhile, if the information does not belong to economic activity, the ordinary court will consider the lawsuit (even if legal entities are involved in the conflict).

An important stage is the proof of the fact of the dissemination of information that discredits honour and dignity.

The dissemination is publication in the media and the Internet, public statements, providing of such information even to one person.

Then you have to prove that the information damages reputation. The definition of defamatory includes information containing an allegation of a dishonest act or a violation of the legislation of the Russian Federation, unethical behaviour, and unfair business model, a violation of the rules or principles of business practices as well as other information that negatively affects the honour and dignity of the plaintiff.

The crucial stage is to prove that distributed information is false.

It's important to understand that the certain information cannot be recognized as false in court. These include information from judicial acts and decisions of municipal and other government authorities as well as any official documents. They are appealed according to the legislation (for example, you cannot disprove the information that is in the official dismissal order because it should be appealed in a different order according to the Labor Law of the Russian Federation).

The advantages of working with us

  • our business consultation can help you get a handle on the current negative situation and figure out the prospects to protect your rights;
  • well-deserved business reputation and many successful projects
  • professional support provided by 14 practicing lawyers that use legitimate working methods;
  • guaranteed positive results and if we do not achieve the desired outcome, we do not request payment.

Public engagement of the Tsentralny Okrug Law Firm and also significant practice and successful claims on protection of honour and dignity guarantee you the high-quality accompaniment of legal cases.

For more information, you can leave a request on our website and we call you back. We hold a free consultation and evaluate the prospects of your situation.

We offer extra bonuses for our clients like training webinars, updated information on any changes in legislation, useful articles on protecting honor and reputation.

Author is Dmitry Biryukov

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