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  • European Integration IP Digest: tracking the Ukrainian IP sphere’s progress on the way to the EU
    07 February 2024 No Comments Irena

    European Integration IP Digest: tracking the Ukrainian IP sphere’s progress on the way to the EU

    February 7, 2024 marked five years since Ukraine enshrined in its Constitution the European identity of the Ukrainian people and the irreversibility of our country’s European and Euro-Atlantic course.

     

    The IP sphere and the issue of national IP legislation harmonization are crucial in the context of Ukraine’s accession to the EU.

     

    State of play

     

    Ukraine’s European integration experience in times of war has a unique character. Resisting Russian military aggression, suffering losses and constant rocket attacks, the country has acquired the status of an EU candidate (June 23, 2022), continues European integration in various areas, deepens its partnership with the EU, and implements the European Commission’s recommendations.

     

    An active process of the national IP legislation harmonization with the EU acquis is ongoing. EU-Ukraine Association Agreement’s IP provisions implementation rate in 2022 was one of the highest in Ukraine, reaching 98%.

     

    On November 8, 2023, the European Commission published a Report on Ukraine’s progress under the EU’s 2023 Enlargement Package, which recommends to the European Council to start negotiations with Ukraine.

     

    By December 14, 2023, the European Council decided to start accession negotiations with Ukraine and adopt the relevant framework for negotiations after the relevant steps set out in the European Commission recommendations dated November 8, 2023.

     

    On April 24, 2024, Ukraine submitted to the European Commission its first report on the implementation of the reform recommendations identified for Ukraine in the Ukraine Progress Report under the EU’s Enlargement Package 2023.

     

    The European integration vector of the Ukrainian IP Office (UANIPIO) covers the following tasks:

     

    • amendments to IP legislation;
    • constant monitoring of the IP law enforcement;
    • implementation and improvement of IPRs protection mechanisms and procedures;
    • cooperation, constant communication with IP stakeholders;
    • focusing on IPRs raising awareness and IP culture initiatives.

     

    To achieve the above objectives, the following initiatives were implemented:

     

    • signing of the Declaration of Intent on Intellectual Property with the EU patent offices of Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia;
      March 2023
    • holding a meeting with representatives of the EU Delegation to Ukraine;
      February 2023
    • signing a Memorandum of Understanding on bilateral cooperation between the Ukrainian National Office for Intellectual Property and Innovations and the European Union Intellectual Property Office;
      July 5, 2023
    • signing the Reinforced technical and strategic partnership between the State Organization “Ukrainian National Office for Intellectual Property and Innovations” and the European Patent Office;
      July 12, 2023
    • participation of the UANIPIO’s representatives in the IP International Congress in Poland (September 2023) and in the high-level meeting;
    • On September 8, 2023, Ukraine acceded to the Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works for Persons Who Are Blind, Visually Impaired or Otherwise Print Disabled (Law of Ukraine, January 12, 2023 No. 2854-IX);
    • UANIPIO participates in the meetings of the annual EU-Ukraine IPR Dialogue. This Dialogue is a part of the broader cooperation between the European Commission and Ukraine;
    • a visit of the European delegation to UANIPIO to consolidate efforts and identify further priorities and vectors of progress on the European integration path;
      October 2023
    • signing of the EUIPO – UANIPIO Working Plan for 2024-2025 on the implementation of the MoU on Bilateral Cooperation between the Ukrainian National Office for Intellectual Property and Innovations and the European Union Intellectual Property Office;
      October 23, 2023
    • Ukraine has joined the EU’s regional IP support program;
    • IP Office joined the seminar on IPR protection, organized jointly by the EUIPO and the State Patent Bureau of the Republic of Lithuania;
      January 2024
    • IP Office’s representatives were elected to the committees of the EU’s Horizon Europe research and innovation program;
    • IP Office discussed with the EU Delegation to Ukraine the implementation of the European Commission’s recommendation and the national legislation harmonization progress with the EU acquis.
    • The Strengthening Intellectual Property Rights in Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine (EU4IP project) was launched. The top management of the IP Office took part in the official project opening which took place in Moldova with the participation of the EUIPO respected leaders.

     

    Furthermore, the UANIPIO has optimised its structure and introduced best practices of public administration based on European experience and practice:

     

    • UANIPIO continues to perform ISA/IPEA functions under the PCT agreement;
    • updated participation in the advisory body of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine – the Intellectual Property Council.
    • The Strategic Development Plan for 2024-2028 was approved; the document outlines the mission, strategic directions, goals and objectives of the IP Office for the coming years.
    • Code of UANIPIO’s Corporate Ethics was approved;
    • International certification of compliance of the quality management system with the requirements of the international standard ISO 9001:2015 was obtained;
    • The UANIPIO Anti-Corruption Program was approved;
    • In 2023 (compared to 2022), there was a significant increase in the number of applications filed for industrial property: for inventions +5.5%; for utility models +47.4%; for industrial designs +34.8%; for trademarks +55.4%; 49.5% more applications were filed for copyright registration in a work. This is demonstrated by the data of the IP office’s information dashboard.

     

    • The IP Office’s Mediation Center was launched. 

       

      During the functioning of the Center:

       

       ● documents on mediation were approved (Rules of IP Mediation; Regulations on the Register of Mediators; Code of Professional Ethics);

       ● the Register of Mediators Involved in IP Dispute Resolution was formed and profiles of Ukrainian IP and business mediators were posted;

       ● cooperation with partners was initiated to consolidate efforts to develop IP mediation in Ukraine: there was signed Memorandum of understanding with the Ukrainian Academy of Mediation and the Ukrainian Association of Mediation Judges (GEMME), and joint activities were planned;

       ● a Discussion Club was launched to bring together the professional community and ensure regular discussions of current issues and challenges of IP mediation in Ukraine;  

       ● a strategy for the popularization of IP mediation was approved, within the framework of which leading Ukrainian mediators were interviewed on the introduction of the IP mediation service on the basis of the IP office;

       ● a research project “The Practice of Implementing IP Mediation: Survey of the Foreign Countries Experience ” was launched and its findings were published;

       ● a number of scientific articles on the Ukrainian IP ADR implementation were published;

       ● educational and awareness raising initiatives were held among young people aimed at raising the level of legal culture of ADR utilization.

       

    • The Intellectual Property Rights Infringement Monitoring Center, a specialized platform for professional communication on counterfeiting, was launched similar to the European Observatory on Infringements of Intellectual Property Rights.

       

      Since the launch of the IPRs Infringement Monitoring Center:

       

       ● efforts were made to establish cooperation with international organizations:

       – The Cooperatieve Vereniging SNB-REACT U.A. (REACT) Anti-Counterfeiting Network. The parties are intended to sign a memorandum of understanding. In April 2024, the IP Office joined the annual REACT meeting held in Amsterdam (the Netherlands);

       – European Observatory on Infringements of Intellectual Property Rights. On April 30, 2024, a joint meeting was held within the framework of the IP Case Law Conference in Alicante (Spain);

       

      ● there were signed the following Memorandums of understanding to strengthen the IPRs protection  :

      – with the Bureau of Economic Security (February 22, 2024);

      – with the State Customs Service of Ukraine (April 19, 2024).

       

      ● Representatives of the Center, together with representatives of law enforcement (Bureau of Economic Security) and customs (State Customs Service of Ukraine) authorities, participated in:

      – the meetings of the South Caucasus and Eastern Europe Expert Working Group on Intellectual Property Rights and the Seminar on Intellectual Property Rights Infringement (December 16-20, 2023 in Chisinau, Moldova);

      – in working meetings with representatives of the Cooperatieve Vereniging SNB-REACT U.A. Anti-Counterfeiting Network (January 16-17, 2024 in Vilnius, Lithuania);

      – a seminar for national judges, prosecutors, police officers and customs officers on general aspects of intellectual property rights infringement (January 18-19, 2024 in Druskininkai, Lithuania);

       

      ●  The Ukrainian delegation from the IP Office took part in the meetings of the 16th session of the WIPO Advisory Committee on Enforcement (January 31-February 2, 2024 in Geneva, Switzerland);

       

      ●  The Center organizes educational and awareness raising initiatives for different target and age audiences.

       

    • The National IP&Innovations Hub was launched – a powerful center for innovation activation that supports research, development, commercialization of intellectual property rights and technology transfer, encourages investment in Ukraine’s economy and promotes job creation.

       

      Within the framework of the National IP&Innovations Hub :

       

       ● interactive dashboards of IP and innovation development in Ukraine were developed;

       ● the information report “Green Technologies, Innovations and Intellectual Property” was prepared and presented;

       ● the entrepreneurial training program Lab2Market UA was implemented (10 teams from seven regions of Ukraine, more than 30 scientists and scholars joined), new innovative programs Lab2Market MedTech and Lab2Market Veterano were launched; 

       ● the Talking about my idea project was launched – a series of webinars addressing the most pressing issues and practical cases from leading national and foreign experts in the field of intellectual property and innovation;

       ●  roadmap for regional innovation hubs was developed;

       ●  digest of current grant programs in priority areas in accordance with the Global Innovation Vision of Ukraine was developed;

       ● jointly with the Ukrainian Institute of Scientific and Technical Expertise and Information (UkrISTEI), the news digest “Science. Technologies. Innovations” news digest was launched;

       ● the network of Technology and Innovation Support Centers (TISCs) in Ukraine was expanded.

       

      As of June 1, 2024, there are 38 TISCs functioning in Ukraine, including the Focal Point Ukrainian TISC Office UANIPIO: 16 TISCs were launched in 2023 and 8 in 2024. The number ukrainian TISC network participants has been expanded: regional TISCs are being launched on the basis of higher education and research institutions, as well as regional chambers of commerce and industry, public organizations, etc;

       

       ● cooperation with leading Ukrainian technological universities, foundations and startups was established;

       

       ● introduced services on:

                    –  intellectual property rights assessment;

                    –  information support on technology transfer and innovation activities;

                    –  consultations on the innovative project/startup elaboration 

     

    • Creative Sectors Economy Development Unit was established. In particular, as of June 1, 2024, within the structural unit there were:

       

      –  held 13 meetings with representatives of creative industries, including book publishing, museum, library, sports, fashion, and others as part of the project “34 Poles of Creativity”

      – prepared and published 11 manuals for various creative sectors on intellectual property rights, explaining IP rights, their protection, enforcement and commercialization;

      – established close cooperation with the Ministry of Culture and Information Policy of Ukraine, the Ukrainian Book Institute, the State Agency of Ukraine for the Arts, as well as with NGOs working in various sectors of the creative industries;

      – recorded a series of 8 podcasts on IP in the creative industries together with the CASES.media platform.

       

    • IP Academy, the National Intellectual Property Training Centre in Ukraine, successfully functions on the basis of the IP Office.

       

      In 2023, IP Academy completed the training of trainers according to the program envisaged by the Memorandum and received the official status of the National Intellectual Property Training Center in Ukraine- a partner of the WIPO Academy. 

       

      In 2023, by the  IP Academy was held:

      – 5 training courses;

      – 47 workshops and webinars;

      – 26 events as part of educational campaigns;

      – 5 art books were developed;

      – 4 catalogs on training courses and master’s programs were developed.

       

      The report on the IP Academy’s activities for 2023 is available here.

       

    European integration acts in the IP sphere, which have already been approved:

     

    • Order of the Ministry of Economy of Ukraine dated December 20, 2023 No.19944 “On Approval of the Regulation on the Commission for granting permission to use the official name and international alphabetical code of the State of Ukraine and/or to include an imitation of the Small State Emblem of Ukraine in a trademark”

     

    • Order of the Ministry of Economy of Ukraine dated November 23, 2023 No.17768 “On Approval of the Rules of Procedure of the Appeals Chamber of the National Intellectual Property Authority”;

     

    • Resolution of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine dated August 15, 2023 No.859, which approved amendments to the Procedure of Fees Payment for Actions Related to the Intellectual Property Rights Protection;

     

    • On March 20, 2023, the Law of Ukraine No.2974-IX “On Amendments to Certain Legislative Acts of Ukraine on Strengthening the Intellectual Property Rights Protection ” was adopted;

     

    • The Law of Ukraine No.2803-IX of May 30, 2023, amended the Law of Ukraine No.270/96-VR of July 3, 1996 “On Advertising”, to ensure the proper implementation of its provisions, a draft order of the Ministry of Economy of Ukraine “On Approval of the Procedure for Formation and Maintenance of the National List of Websites Raising Concerns Regarding the Observance of Intellectual Property Rights” is being developed;

     

    • Law of Ukraine of December 13, 2022 No.2849-IX “On Media” was adopted;

     

    • On 1 May 2024, the Order of the Ministry of Economy of Ukraine, “On Approval of the Rules for Drafting and Submitting Industrial Design Applications and Conducting an Examination of Industrial Design Applications and International Registration of Industrial Designs,” entered into force.

     

    In the sphere of copyright and related rights: 

     

    • On January 1, 2023, the Law of Ukraine No.2811-IX “On Copyright and Related Rights” dated December 1, 2022, which was developed to fulfill Ukraine’s obligations under the Association Agreement, came into force, and bylaws were adopted to implement its provisions:
      • Order of the Ministry of Economy of Ukraine dated August 16, 2023 No.11319 “On Approval of the Procedure for State Registration of Copyright and Contracts Relating to the Author’s Copyright” was adopted;
      • Resolution of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine No.1066 dated October 10, 2023 “On Approval of the Procedure for protection of moral rights of authors in respect of works passed into the public domain in the absence of heirs” was adopted;
      • Resolution No.1312 of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine dated December 15, 2023 “On Approval of the Procedure for acquiring and losing the status of orphan works, phonograms, videograms, and performances recorded in them, the conditions of their authorized use, and the maintenance of the register” was adopted, which is currently being approved by the appropriate executive authorities.

     

    Moreover, with the participation of the UANIPIO, bylaws and regulations are being developed to implement the best European practices:

     

    • the Order of the Ministry of Economy of Ukraine “On Approval of the Regulations on Intellectual Property Representatives (Patent Attorneys) and Amendments to the Regulations on Certification and Maintenance of the State Register of Intellectual Property Representatives (Patent Attorneys)” was developed;

     

    • proposals for the draft order of the Ministry of Economy of Ukraine on new edition of the Rules for Drafting, Filing and Examination of Geographical Indications Applications;

     

    • proposals for the draft order of the Ministry of Economy of Ukraine “On Approval of the Rules for drafting, Filing a Trademark Application, International Trademark Application and Conducting an Examination of a Trademark Application, International Registration of a Trademark with Designation to Ukraine”;

     

    • proposals for the draft order of the Ministry of Economy of Ukraine “On Approval of the Rules for Drafting, Filing and Examining Inventions and Utility Models Applications”;

     

    • proposals for a draft order of the Ministry of Economy of Ukraine “On Approval of the Rules for Drafting, Submitting and Examining a Semiconductor Product Layout Application”.

     

    Short-term plans: 

     

    • development of proposals for authorizations to use a patented invention (utility model) related to a medicinal product;
    • developin proposals for improving the collective management organizations’ functioning;
    • developing a procedure for granting supplementary protection to an invention;
    • further approximation of the national copyright legislation to the EU acquis;
    • studying the issue of improving the legal IPRs protection of trade secrets in the context of EU legislation;
    • researching ways to regulate compulsory licensing and the Bolar provision in the framework of EU legislation;
    • promoting the strengthening measures to counteract piracy and counterfeiting;
    • information and methodological support to law enforcement authorities on combating IP infringements;
    • taking steps aimed at achieving progress in the High IP Court functioning;
    • further translations and summaries of landmark judgments of the Court of Justice of the EU in IP cases.

     

    EUROPEAN INTEGRATION 2024 IP NEWS DIGEST 

    (updated with the latest news)

     

    2024

     

    May, 8

    The Rules for Drafting and Submitting Design Applications Entered into Force


    April, 5

    Representatives of the Ministry of Economy and the IP Office participated in negotiations to revise specific provisions of the Free Trade Agreement between Ukraine and the EFTA States


    March, 28

    Harmonization of legislation with the EU acquis is the basis for innovative development and economic recovery of the country, – Olena Orliuk at the meeting with European colleagues


    March, 27

    EU4IP project will become a tool of practical support for small and medium-sized businesses, enterprises, creators and innovators, – Olena Orliuk


    March, 25

    Strengthening intellectual property rights in Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova to support EU accession


    March, 20

    Explanatory meeting on intellectual property within the official screening of European Commission


    March, 12

    Support for the Ukrainian cultural and creative sectors resilience was discussed in Brussels


    March, 5

    Regulation on the Commission “Ukraine” has entered into force


    February, 26

    The Ministry of Justice Registered Regulations on Intellectual Property Representatives (Patent Attorneys)


    February, 19

    National and International Experts Discussed the National Intellectual Property Development Strategy


    February, 2

    “We are ready to show even more progress in the IP sphere”, – Olena Orliuk at the meeting with the EU Delegation to Ukraine

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