Draft agreement on unitary trademark within Belarus-Kazakhstan-Russia Customs Union
The Eurasian Economic Commission (EAEC), a supranational body that has, since January 1 2012, supervised the integration processes between Belarus, Kazakhstan and Russia within the Customs Union and the Single Economic Space (SES), has published a draft Agreement on Trademarks, Service Marks and Appellations of Origin in the Territory of the Single Economic Space between the Customs Union members.
The draft agreement in Russian, dated December 20 2012, can be found here. The agreement will enter into force once ratified by all the Customs Union members.
The draft agreement aims to further harmonise IP rights protection in these three countries, as foreseen in the Agreement on Unified Principles of Regulation in the Sphere of IP Rights Protection (Article 14), which entered into force on January 1 2012.
The goal of the draft agreement is to create a ‘SES trademark’, which would co-exist with national rights in a similar way to the way in which Community trademarks co-exist with national rights in the European Union.
Under Article 12 of the draft agreement, SES trademarks are to be registered in a single trademark register, although there are no plans yet to set up a SES trademark office. The registration of SES trademarks is to be carried out through the national IP offices of Belarus, Kazakhstan and Russia.
According to Article 4 of the draft agreement, SES trademark applications are to be filed with the IP office of any SES member state. The applications may be filed in any of the local languages recognised by national regulations, but a Russian translation must always be provided. The Russian version will prevail in case there are any discrepancies between the different versions. All correspondence between the IP offices and the applicant will also be in Russian.
The term of protection for a SES trademark will be 10 years from the application date.
The procedure will be further developed by an implementing regulation (called the 'Instruction'), a draft of which has also been published by the EAEC.
Disputes over IP rights granted through the procedure set forth in the draft agreement will be resolved by the national courts or other authorised bodies in accordance with the national regulations and international treaties, such as the agreement itself.
Ignacio Lazaro, PETOŠEVIĆ, Brussels and Luxembourg
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