Official fees for patents and trademarks streamlined
On December 31 2013 a new law regarding amendments to the Tax Code of Belarus - the Law of the Republic of Belarus No 96-3 of December 31 2013 - was approved. On January 1 2014 this law became effective.
In accordance with the amended Tax Code, Belarus streamlined the official fees applied by its Patent and Trademark Office, and the official fees for domestic applicants and foreign applicants became the same. This resulted in multiple increases in official fees for domestic applicants. However, the official fees for foreign applicants remained at the same level or decreased slightly. In particular:
- the fee for filing a trademark application in one class decreased from $600 to $450;
- the registration fee remained the same at $200; and
- the renewal fee remained the same at $800.
The fine for late renewal of a trademark decreased from $400 to $200. However, the filing fee for each additional class increased from $40 to $50 and became applicable to each additional class above one, instead of each additional class above four as stipulated in the previous law.
According to the new law, the official fees are established in US dollars. Applicants who are residents of the Republic of Belarus must pay the official fees in Belarusian roubles at the official rate of the National Bank of the Republic of Belarus applicable at the date of payment. Foreign applicants may pay the official fees in foreign currency (US dollars, euros, Swiss francs or Russian roubles). Belarusian trademark and patent attorneys who represent foreign clients may also pay the official fees in foreign currency. The amount of the fees is determined using the cross-rate, calculated on the basis of the official exchange rates of the Belarusian rouble in respect of the relevant foreign currencies, established by the Belarus National Bank at the payment date.
The individual fees for trademark registration in the territory of the Republic of Belarus in accordance with the Madrid Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Marks and the Madrid Protocol remain unchanged.
Tatiana Petrova, Sojuzpatent, Moscow
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