RIGA - Tez Tour, a Bulgarian-owned tourism agency, is reportedly considering filing a claim against Novatours, a Lithuanian-controlled agency that runs that largest tourism operation in the Baltics, citing unfair competition.
Konstantins Palgovs, director of Tez Tours in the Baltic states, told the Baltic News Service that Novatours used the name of Tez Tour unfairly since it had registered domain names www.tez.lv and www.tez.li.
Palgovs said that on Sept. 19 when Tez Tours demanded explanations from Novatours over this matter, the above Internet links did not work any more.
The company has not received any explanations from Novatours so far.
Currently Tez Tour is discussing the case with its lawyers and considering filing the claim and submitting a complaint to the Latvian Competition Council.
Kestutis Lutkus, marketing director of Novatours, said that he did not see any hint of unfair competition in the company's action since the trademark was registered as tez tour and not as tez.
Thus the trademark owner's interests have not been infringed,, Lutkus said.
Tez Tour, which is located in Turkey, launched its subsidiary in Latvia in 2002. Last year the company posted 32,300 lats (45,960 euros) in profit on 4.7 million lats in sales.
According to the Latvian Business Register, Tez Tour is solely owned by Bulgarian citizen Mehmed Levent Shaban.
Novaturas owns a 75.5 percent stake in Latvia's Novatours, and the remaining part belongs to five Latvia tourism companies that distribute charter flights to resorts.
In 2004 Novatours generated 3.6 million lats in sales and was 6,400 lats in the red. Still, turnover was up 67 percent year-on-year. Director Leonids Mocenovs said that the losses resulted from the opening of new routes - particularly to Crete.
This year Novatours plans to increase sales by 30 percent.
In August it was reported that Fima, the IT firm that was behind the purchase of the state's 100 percent stake in Lithuanian Airlines, was considering teaming up with Tez Tours in its efforts to revamp the airline. (See story on Page 6.)