Article title Goodwill and Clientele Protection in Accordance with the Practice of the European Court of Human Rights
Authors
Name of magazine Legal journal «Law of Ukraine» (Ukrainian version)
Issue 5/2018
Сторінки [224-238]
DOI https://doi.org/10.33498/louu-2018-05-224
Annotation

In the age of information society and given the current extent of globalization, intangible assets acquire the significance never existing before, and sometimes this significance even exceeds that of tangible assets. This trend creates the need for establishing and improving the legal structures of ownership and use of such assets, as well as their protection against unlawful interference. This is fully applicable to the entrenchment of the right to goodwill and clientele, and their protection at civil law. The purpose of the article is to study the concept, grounds and conditions of goodwill and clientele protection according to the practice of the European Court of Human Rights (hereinafter – ECHR). It is found that there is a well-established ECHR practice of recognizing intangible assets, such as goodwill and clientele, as property within the meaning of Article 1 of the First Protocol to the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms. The author has ascertained that the ECHR practice recognizes the right to goodwill (clientele) regardless of its formal entrenchment at the level of national legislation. The subjects of this right may be individuals as well as legal entities which carry out professional and (or) entrepreneurial activity of a certain type bringing them profit. The list of such activities is not exhaustive and may be extended. The right to goodwill (clientele) may emerge on the basis of objective (the activities concerned are conducted for a long time; a special legal status is acquired; licenses and permits as prescribed by law are obtained) but also subjective (the subject’s actual business reputation) factors. It is shown that the ECHR practice identifies the following conditions for protection of goodwill: the applicant should possess a certain extent of goodwill; the applicant should be able to use the goodwill while implementing a particular activity; the fact of illegal interference with the applicant’s right to possess and use the goodwill should be established; such interference should result in property damage to the applicant. The article also analyzes the ways of goodwill protection which may be property damage compensation as well as compensation of moral harm. Since the ECHR practice is used as a source of law in Ukraine, goodwill and (or) clientele should be provided with protection under civil law. As long as the right to goodwill and (or) clientele is not formally entrenched at the level of national legislation, the possibility of possession, use of goodwill and (or) the clientele, and their protection should be recognized as a legally protected interest.

 

Keywords goodwill; clientele; business reputation; practice of the European Court of Human Rights
References

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Legislation 
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