Kazakhstan

As a trademark market of growing importance, Kazakhstan is covered in the WTR 1000 for the first time this year. Alongside fellow EAEU member states Russia, Belarus, Kyrgyzstan and Armenia, the country has just signed the Agreement on the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) Trademarks, Service Marks, and Appellations of Origin, which aims to harmonise trademark legislation across all five countries. Kazakhstani trademark attorneys are optimistic about the changes this will bring, which they hope should render the system more efficient and cost effective; although some have reservations about the length of time it is taking to put the reforms into place. Meanwhile, the local trademark and patent office has recently adopted a new electronic system for filings, which professionals have praised for its speed and efficiency.

Firms

  • Bolotov & Partners LLP
  • Baker McKenzie
  • Bureau PLIS
  • Dentons
  • Integrites
  • Shabalina & Partners
  • Tagbergenova & Partners

Baker McKenzie

Baker McKenzie’s Almaty office provides a satisfyingly complete trademark service. On the prosecution side, the group efficiently handles the portfolios of major multinationals such as British American Tobacco; on the enforcement side, it has been busy over the last year with cancellation proceedings and anti-counterfeiting actions; and on the transactional side, too, it has advised extensively on franchising matters. Leading the charge on the contentious front is Andrei Yorsh, a polished advocate in forums across Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. His expansive knowledge base encompasses IP, labour and competition law, and he has penned more than 100 articles on Kazakhstani, Belorussian and Russian legislation. At his side is senior associate Nurgul Abdreyeva, whose practice encompasses cross-border transactions and internet-related IP enforcement issues, as well as corporate matters and general contractual law. She has a cosmopolitan outlook, having been educated in both Kazakhstan and Japan.

Bolotov & Partners LLP

Founded more than 25 years ago, boutique Bolotov & Partners is cited as “the leader in trademark enforcement in Kazakhstan”, although its abilities also stretch to full-phase prosecution, litigation and transactions. The group works across the region and beyond, moving in diverse sectors including consumer products, financial services, telecommunications and transport. Founding partner and namesake Yuri Bolotov runs the show. As well as providing robust representation of brand owners in litigation, he conducts meticulous IP due diligence reviews and also has experience of anti-monopoly and employment matters. Able assistance comes from senior associate Zhanat Nurmagambetov, who specialises in anti-counterfeiting and parallel import issues, but also acts in domain name and competition disputes.

Bureau PLIS

Bureau Plis LLP is a prime pick for trademark registration for native Kazakhstani organisations and international companies alike, with a network of more than 300 contacts worldwide granting it unbridled access to the global stage. Its international capabilities are further bolstered by the linguistic talents of its five-strong group of patent and trademark attorneys, who can communicate in English, French and Russian. Managing partner and veteran lawyer of 44 years Vladimir Lyajin is a key contact for the address book.

Dentons

For more than a decade, international juggernaut Dentons has had a fully specced IP group stationed in Kazakhstan. Trademark prosecution, litigation and monetisation are all effortlessly dispatched by the team, which has two Kazakhstani patent attorneys and one Eurasian patent attorney on deck. It registers trademarks across the entire Commonwealth of Independent States region, and its contentious team regularly goes out to bat for clients both at the patent and trademark office and in local courts. At the heart of the practice are Aliya Seitova and Nataliya Shapovalova – the former a trademark filing whizz who gives “high-quality, thorough, and timely” advice; the latter an “expert problem solver” with a skillset encompassing IP litigation, licensing and franchising. Together the pair have recently been providing valuable strategic advice to an international food and beverage company.

Integrites

INTEGRITES’s Kazakhstani offering has grown significantly over the last year, with a 55% increase in client numbers; its senior lawyer and support personnel headcount has likewise increased, leading to more streamlined project management and enhanced client service. The group has a trio of bases in the region, with a new bureau in Atyrau complementing its existing offices in Almaty and Nur-Sultan. While trademark and copyright litigation is a forte, the outfit also dispenses astute trademark protection and pre-litigation advice to national and international companies, assists them with the drafting of IP-related agreements and represents them in arbitration. Corporate all-rounder and litigation and international arbitration head Duman Akhmetov is the one to call.

Shabalina & Partners

Shabalina & Partners has been a prominent player on the Kazakhstani IP scene for the last 20 years. Working swiftly and responsively, it registers trademarks with alacrity, drafts watertight licence agreements and arranges for the inclusion of trademarks on the customs register, as well as providing sage pre-litigation counsel and staunch representation in administrative actions. The key contact is patent attorney Asylbek Abdykulov.

Tagbergenova & Partners

Established in 1992 by co-founders Modangul and Alma Tagbergenova, prosecution shop Tagbergenova & Partners is a favourite among world-renowned brands such as Coca-Cola, Adidas, Yamaha and Caterpillar. While based in Kazakhstan, the group provides services throughout the entire region, including Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, Georgia, Azerbaijan and beyond. Its core values of excellence and teamwork earn it enthusiastic reviews from the market: “Tagbergenova & Partners offers a high-quality service, oriented at both international and local businesses. Efficient and quick to respond, it has an attentive and sincere attitude to both clients and competitors.”

Other recommended experts

Based out of Sayat Zholshy & Partners, Amir Begdesenov comes “highly recommended” for his IP and antitrust insight, particularly within the telecommunications field. His quadruple language facilities in Kazakh, Russian, English and Chinese prove invaluable on the international stage.

Individuals

  • Nurgul B Abdreyeva - Baker McKenzie
  • Amir Begdesenov - Sayat Zholshy & Partners
  • Yuri A Bolotov - Bolotov & Partners LLP
  • Zhanat Nurmagambetov - Bolotov & Partners LLP
  • Aliya Seitova - Dentons
  • Nataliya Shapovalova - Dentons
  • Andrei Yorsh - Baker McKenzie