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Author: Prospectacy Business Services Team

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Prospectacy: An example of equal treatment of its staff

Despite the fact that the principle of equal pay has been institutionalized for decades, the gender gap remains wide, with little improvement in recent years.

On average, in the European Union in 2021 women’s gross hourly earnings were 12.7% lower than men’s per hour worked.

In Cyprus, this figure rose to 9.7%, however, the country recorded one of the largest gender pay gaps in the private sector at 19.3%.

Unlike most Cypriot companies, Prospectacy is an example of equal treatment of its staff members. Diversity in the workplace is at the core of the company’s operation and it is in this context that Prospectacy Ltd supports the Best Workplace for Women standard, which has come to fill this major gap.

The key criteria for a business to secure Best Workplace for Women certification are that it meets the minimum requirements for fair pay and promotions, offers a healthy workplace, provides meaningful work, and supports women wherever they work — remotely, in situ, or hybrid.

Simply put, gender should play absolutely no role in a person’s opportunities for career advancement.

Equality and the equal treatment of both sexes at this time should be self-evident and not yet demanded.

One of the factors affecting wages is the fact that, on average, women complete more hours of unpaid work (childcare or housework) than men.

They are also much more likely to interrupt their careers while some of their career choices are affected by caring and family responsibilities.

Additionally, about 24% of the overall gender pay gap can be explained by the overrepresentation of women in relatively low-paying sectors such as healthcare. It is also characteristic that only a third of managers in the EU are women, even though they represent almost half of the workforce.

Prospectacy against discrimination

In the case of Prospectacy, women are not only rewarded for their hard work, but also receive the professional recognition they deserve, given that the company’s middle management consists entirely of women.

At the same time, recognizing the additional difficulties and challenges faced by the modern working mother, the company offers a flexible work regime, both in terms of hours and in the space from where its staff members will work.

Describing her personal experience, the head of Prospectacy’s legal department, Yanna Raevskaya, emphasized that during her maternity leave, she never felt insecure about returning to work.

“On the contrary, Prospectacy has always been by my side, in all those cases where it was needed. And as a worker, I had an extra motivation to work even harder. Any organization that understands the needs of employees gets back much more from them than it gives,” she said.

Ms. Raevskaya emphasized that all companies can and should create work cultures that support women and help them thrive, regardless of background and position in the business.

The Best Workplace for Women standard also aims in this direction and the goal is to become an institution.

“It would undoubtedly be beneficial to continue and develop in the future, rewarding businesses and organizations that provide a healthy working environment for employees, while treating them equally, without any discrimination, pay or otherwise,” Ms. Raevskaya pointed out.

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Best Workplaces™ for Women the new institution of Great Place To Work® Cyprus

This is an institution that has been adopted in many countries where Great Place To Work ® is present.

The Great Place to Work® institution is being upgraded and developed, with the adoption of Best Workplaces for Women™. This is a new certification that will be received by businesses that meet specific criteria in terms of equality.

It is worth noting that the Best Workplaces™ for Women list will be announced in the first quarter of 2024 and candidates will be companies certified in 2023.

“The criteria taken into account, as always, will be clear, measurable, and therefore objective” emphasized Kyriakos Iakovides, General Manager of Great Place To Work®.

According to Mr. Iakovidis, “the dominant philosophy of Great Place To Work ® is summed up in the phrase For All ™ which clearly implies that the working environment must be positive for all staff groups”. In this context, he explained, “initiatives in many countries to highlight and recognize companies that treat both sexes equally, impartially and fairly” are included.

The new institution is supported by the Federation of Professional and Business Women BPW Cyprus.

In a related statement, the President of BPW Cyprus, Tasia Giannara, stated,

“It is an honor for us to sponsor this event as Best Workplaces ™ for Women perfectly aligns with our goals and objectives. With a presence in over 100 countries around the world, BPW’s mission is to develop the entrepreneurial, professional, and leadership potential of women at all levels through advocacy, education, mentoring, networking, and skill development through programs, and economic empowerment projects around the world. »

The sponsor of the institution will be the company Prospectacy.

On behalf of Prospectacy, CEO Vassilis Zertalis emphasized the importance of building a healthy working environment, where equal treatment of the sexes is self-evident, for its smooth operation and sustainable development.

“For Prospectacy , tackling prejudice in the workplace and treating employees equally regardless of gender is a matter of course. These are two important parameters that not only determine the growth prospects of a business but also contribute to the creation of a better society.”

Prospectacy is a consultancy specializing in providing personalized services to corporate clients, individuals, and e-commerce businesses. It provides a wide range of solutions, including tax planning, legal services, company formation, and management, as well as e-commerce solutions. Its experienced staff works closely with clients to understand their needs and develop customized strategies to help them achieve their goals. With a proactive and collaborative approach, Prospectacy is an excellent partner for those looking for expert advice and support for their business or personal needs.

published by philinews

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How a Cypriot company, Apella Games, beat Apple.

Interview with Yanna Raevskaya, Head of Legal at Prospectacy Ltd who handled the case

Apella Games, a Cyprus-based video game development startup, recently won a major commercial battle against global technology behemoth Apple Inc. In an interview with Digital Tree, Yanna Raevskaya, head of the legal department at Prospectacy Ltd, which handled the case, explained the reasons why Apple filed an objection to the EU application for trademark registration and registration of the word mark ” APELLA GAMES», while also describing how they eventually won the case. It is noted that the multinational company reserves the right of appeal within two months from the issuance of the decision in favor of APELLA.

Let’s start with the general ones. Tell us a few words about the company APELLA… 

– Our customer, APELLA GAMES LTD is a limited liability company established and operating in accordance with Cypriot law. The company operates in the video game industry and creates free-to-play (F2P) games for PC and consoles. Apella Games was founded in 2020. In other words, it is a new company that is still in its first steps. ( All details about the company are posted on its website at the email address )

How many people does Apella employ?

– Despite the fact that it is a start-up company, Apella has nevertheless managed to grow in a short period of time and today employs around 40 experienced and passionate professionals in the video game industry, who believe in the company’s purpose and what it stands for. 

It is worth noting that the founders of the company are Greek Cypriots. It is obvious that the national origin of the founders of the company played an important role in the choice of the brand name – Apella Games…

You mean the word Apella… 

– Certainly. As you know the word “Apella” has its origins in ancient Greece and refers to the popular assembly in the ancient Greek city-state of Sparta, which corresponded to the church in most other Greek states. Every Spartan male full citizen who had completed his thirtieth year was entitled to attend the assemblies, which, according to the decree of Lycurgus, must be held at the hour of the full moon within the limits of Sparta.

And let’s go to the big topic. How did the ‘confrontation’ with Apple come about…

– It all started when Apple Inc. filed a Notice of Opposition against the EU trademark application and the registration of the word mark “APELLA GAMES” citing the likelihood of confusion and alleging that the company is trying to take unfair advantage of the well-known Apple brandWhich, of course, does not correspond to reality, since the origin of Apella’s name was completely different. 

I imagine the decision to ‘break up’ with Apple was a difficult one, wasn’t it?

– Despite the fact that our company Prospectacy Ltd specializes and focuses on intellectual property issues as well as legal support for online businesses, both in Cyprus and abroad, this case was nevertheless treated with great care. After all, we had in front of us a globally recognized brand with unlimited resources. Our legal team spent a lot of time on the case and we tried to focus on researching every available online case launched by Apple against other trademarks in the EUIPO database. However, it should be noted that one of the reasons why we decided to go ahead and respond to the complaint was the fact that at the initial stage of the process, Apple showed no willingness to negotiate to find a mutually acceptable solution, as it rejected all the arguments, the justification and the positions that were in the application for registration of the specific trademark that we submitted to the EUIPO.

The decision for Apple was cataclysmic. How did the giant react after this decision?

– Apple has 2 months from the date of the decision to file an appeal. For our part, we have already filed a trademark application for Apella’s first game – Rite of Titans, which will be released soon on Steam.

published by PANAGIOTIS TSAGGARIS from offsite news

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Apple loses trademark battle that it probably shouldn’t have started

Apple has lost a trademark battle with Cypriot developer Apella Games. Apple claimed that customers would be confused, possibly mixing the two companies up or thinking that they were linked in some way.

Apple claimed that Apella Games was visually, phonetically, and conceptually similar, according to a report. But the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) disagreed and rejected Apple’s arguments.

With the decision now made, Apple has two months to appeal the case if it sees fit.

The Apella iPhone?

Apella Games registered its name and logo with the EUIPO on March 17, 2021, following the company’s creation in Cyprus a year earlier. Now, local news (opens in new tab) reports that a February 21 2023 decision saw the EUIPO side with the developer, despite Apple’s protestations.

“This tactic of swamping the Applicant with hundreds of pages of incomplete material speaks to Apple’s attempt to intimidate its opponents and block them from entering the market,” said Raevskaya. “The fact that they submitted insufficient material that contained no evidence to substantiate Apple’s claims after failing to meet the deadline, raises questions as to the scope of the opposition.”

The EUIPO said that people wouldn’t be confused by the two companies’ similar names, nor would Apella Games’ Greek warrior logo be confused for an Apple with a bite out of it. Few people will walk into a carrier store and ask for an Apella Games iPhone 14, for example. Apple’s best iPhones don’t have a Greek warrior’s helmet on the back, either. Although they might be even better if they did.

As for Apella Games, it’s apparently getting ready to launch its first game this week. Rite of Titans will be available for download on Steam, not the App Store.

published by Oliver Haslam from iMore

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Cypriot video game company wins trademark battle against Apple

Apple sought to block Apella Games from registering name and logo in the EU

Cyprus-based indie gaming company Apella Games has won a major battle against tech giant Apple Inc., which tried to block the startup from registering its name and logo with the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO), claiming the mark was visually, phonetically, and conceptually similar to Apple’s.

In a decision issued on February 21, EUIPO rejected the American multinational’s claims that the public could confuse the two marks, including associating Apella Games with the Apple trademark.

“[The] opposition is rejected in its entirety,” the ruling said, before noting that “the opponent bears the costs”.

Founded and headquartered in Cyprus in 2020, video game developer Apella Games filed a trademark application almost two years ago, on March 17, 2021.

The company’s name is the English transliteration of the Greek word Apella, which was the people’s assembly in ancient Sparta. Its logo is round, with the letter ‘A’ in the middle, partly enclosed by an ancient warrior helmet and partly by a meander motif, which is closely associated with ancient Greece.

Apple filed a notice of opposition in June 2021 and was given until the end of November to make its case.

“There is no reason for the Applicant to have chosen to use the Application Mark. There are numerous alternative combinations of words and letters which could have been selected instead, that do not call to mind the Opponent’s APPLE Mark,” Apple said. Its submission, filed after the deadline, consisted of 476 pages mainly of legislation and previous rulings.

“This tactic of swamping the Applicant with hundreds of pages of incomplete material speaks to Apple’s attempt to intimidate its opponents and block them from entering the market,” said Yana Raevskaya, Head of Prospectacy Ltd’s legal department, which handled the case.

“The fact that they submitted insufficient material that contained no evidence to substantiate Apple’s claims after failing to meet the deadline, raises questions as to the scope of the opposition.”

EUIPO rejected Apple’s arguments that Apella’s name and logo were visually, phonetically, and conceptually similar, adding that the public would be able to tell apart the two signs, even if they share some of the letters.

It also rejected as “unfounded”, Apple’s argument that Apella Games would take unfair advantage of its distinctive character and reputation, concluding that it “did not submit any evidence” to that end.

“For these reasons, the Opposition Division does not find it plausible that the relevant consumer, who is considered reasonably well informed and reasonably observant and circumspect, might believe that the goods and services assumed to be identical come from the same undertaking or economically linked undertakings,” EUIPO said.

Aleksandra Rudis, the founder and Chief Executive Officer of Apella Games said Apple’s move was unwarranted.

“As if it was not enough having to deal with the disruption caused by the pandemic and the geopolitical instability, we had to fight a tech giant who decided to go after a small indie company without any valid reason,” she said.

On March 17, exactly two years since the studio was founded, Apella Games will be launching a pre-alpha (not feature-complete) test of their first game, Rite of Titans, a Free to Play hero-centric 3v3 action game that combines arcade sports and ability-based competition.

Apple Inc. has two months to appeal the case.

published by Cyprus News

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