EAEU Customs Union widens scope of trademark protection

Borders are a thing of the past for markets as modern entrepreneurs offer and sell their products to consumers of any country. It is therefore more important than ever to obtain international protection for trademarks and other means of individualisation.

Most countries across the globe have a legal system that ensures the functioning and protection of socially significant institutions. While this is a positive, it can can create doubt when it comes to registering trademarks. However, the majority of countries’ economic policies aim to collaborate and join efforts in certain areas, including in the fields of trade and IP protection.

The Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) Customs Union was created in order to develop commercial activities in former Soviet Union territories. It aims to develop cooperation and to facilitate international trade for entrepreneurs within the common economic space.

The five participating countries are Armenia, Belorus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Russia. The Custom Union’s main areas of activity are:

  • regulating the free movement of products and services;
  • implementing a single coordinated economic policy across various fields; and
  • improving competition between EAEU members and other countries.

The scope of the union’s activities are extensive and they cover various areas related to trade activities. Thus, as a result of the sessions of the Advisory Committee on Intellectual Property under the Eurasian Economic Commission Board, earlier this year a decision was issued on the development and creation of a universal system for protection of trademarks and the names of the places of origin of products at the territory of the participating countries.

On 3 February 2020 the EAEU Customs Union member countries signed the Treaty on Trademarks, Service Marks and the Names of Places of Origin of Products of the EAEU. The treaty makes it possible to register a designation that will be valid in all Customs Union member states. It also stipulates the creation of the Single Register of the Trademarks of the Union and the Single Register of the Names of the Places of Origin of the Products of the Union.

In Russia, a draft law on the ratification of the abovementioned international treaty was then created within the framework of the country’s policy. On 19 August 2020 the draft was approved at a Russian government session and then submitted for consideration to the State Duma.

The creation and implementation of a single system to register trademarks and the names of the places of origin of the products will allow:

  • applicants to obtain legal protection for a designation on member states’ territory by filing one application;
  • the registration procedure to be carried out in electronic form using the EAEU’S integrated information system; and
  • reduced application fees.

The particularities of filing a trademark in EAEU countries are as follows:

  • the applicant can file the application at any EAEU member’s patent office;
  • after receiving the application, information is entered into the EAEU integrated information system;
  • a formal examination is carried out;
  • the application is then sent to each member state’s patent office to carry out the substantive examination of the claimed mark or the name of the place of origin of the product. It is mandatory to carry out a check at the patent office of each country;
  • if the subject matter has passed the examination at all patent offices, the designation will be granted legal protection on EAEU Customs Union territory. Otherwise, it is possible to convert the application into a national one.

A certificate for the means of individualisation will be valid for 10 years with the possibility of extension, which can be carried out an unlimited number of times.

This is an Insight article, written by a selected partner as part of WTR's co-published content. Read more on Insight

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