Stories of our clients: Organisation of muscular dystrophies in Slovakia / Belasý motýľ

“I think our case can serve as a warning to other NGOs. In the non-profit sector, we don’t tend to think about trademarks, logos, and these things that seem more business-oriented. But it’s very important for us to think about them. Because after you have spent years and years building your community of clients, supporters, donors and volunteers, then if something were to endanger that, it could seriously harm your financial streams and destabilise your whole organisation.” Read the whole story of Organisation of muscular dystrophies in Slovakia (OMDvSR) from the perspective of its Chairperson, Andrea Madunova, and learn why NGOs also need to think about brand protection and how a cease and desist letter can help you stand your ground while avoiding lengthy and demanding lawsuits.


Jan Buza

The importance of the right name

Belasý motýľ (Sky-blue butterfly) is a fundraiser held by the Organisation of muscular dystrophies in Slovakia. After an impressive 23 years of existence, the name of the fundraiser is so well-known to Slovaks that it surpassed the name of the organisation that created it, and many people use it to refer to both. 

Andrea Madunová explains the reasoning behind the name: “When we discussed this with marketing agencies, everyone advised us to simplify the communication, stay away from complex medical names and use something easy to remember, so we did.” 

The advice proved to be correct and helped establish the fundraiser over time. Today, it’s a crucial financial source to OMD, which uses it to supplement the state-issued insurance to buy special aids for people suffering from neuromuscular diseases. 

Why trademark a fundraiser?

OMD was well aware of its reliance on the name Belasý motýľ. Andrea Madunova recalls how they have noticed the emergence of organisations with similar names over the years, which led to a decision to protect both the name and logo with a trademark. 

“We would stumble upon these names, never directly the same, but it would always be ‘blue something’ or ‘something butterfly’. We didn’t want people to get into any sort of confusion where they think they are supporting us when they aren’t.”

New problem emerges

While redesigning its website, OMD decided to finally change its name to Belasý motýľ to tidy up all communication. However, they ran into a problem:

“When we were looking into officially changing our name, we found out that there’s already an organisation with the same name, Belasý motýľ, registered with the Ministry of the Interior, much younger than we are. This left us very surprised, the fact that this has happened, and we haven’t even noticed.”


Since Trama helped OMD register a trademark for the name Belasý motýľ in the past, OMD reached out to Trama to see what can be done about the matter.

Trama’s legal team helped by preparing a cease and desist letter and taking over the communication with the counterparty. The letter used the extensive history OMD has with the name Belasý motýľ as a cornerstone for building the argument in favour of OMD.

“We have been advised to write down our history with the name, how we have been using it and with which activities. So we went back and tried to find all traces of us using the name.”

The effort proved to be successful. The prior trademark registration served as the basis for the cease and desist letter and allowed OMD to reclaim the name Belasý motyľ.

Experience with Trama

In recounting her experience, Andrea Madunova highlights how important it was for them to resolve the issue amicably.

“I think without Trama’s help, this all would have been difficult. Because we didn’t want the situation to escalate into a lawsuit. I appreciate that Trama’s communication was always very careful. They were constantly checking with us about how far we were ok to go and didn’t want to push us into anything we would be uncomfortable with. Since we don’t like conflict, I was very thankful for this. And even though we only communicated through emails, we could always agree on everything. So I rate the experience as positively as I can.”

Jan Buza
Jan Buza

Product Mind

Helped scale portfolio firms for a VC fund

CEMS Prague

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