IP News Eastern Europe

August 2021




Kazakhstan to Introduce Mandatory Digital Labeling of Footwear


Mandatory digital labeling of footwear is to be introduced in Kazakhstan on November 1, 2021. The production and import of unlabeled shoes will be prohibited on that date, but retailers will be able to sell unlabeled shoes until November 1, 2022.


All manufacturers and importers will have to use the labeling system and enter information about their goods in order to generate Data Matrix codes. These codes will then be applied to the product using a sticker or a label. Imported products will have to be labeled before passing the customs procedure – either at the production site in another country or at a customs warehouse in Kazakhstan.


Kazakhstan held negotiations with 45 foreign factories that produce and export footwear to Kazakhstan. Because most of them have been marking shoes for the Russian market for a year and a half, they are prepared for similar innovations in Kazakhstan. Kazakh Customs are also actively preparing for the application of labels in their warehouses. On average, labeling costs for manufacturers and importers will be 0.1-2.5% of the cost of one pair of shoes.


By scanning the Data Matrix code using a special mobile application, consumers will be able to obtain complete information about the product and its origin. The new digital labeling system is intended to minimize the presence of counterfeit footwear in Kazakhstan, which currently makes up 48.5% of the local footwear market.


Digital labeling is also being implemented for other types of products in Kazakhstan, including alcoholic beverages, dairy products and other consumer goods. The mandatory labeling of medicines will start on January 1, 2022, while the labeling of tobacco products was introduced on October 1, 2020.


Prepared by: Aliya Madiyarova


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Kyiv Court Stops Demolition of Iconic Building Based on Copyright Infringement


A Kyiv district court recently prohibited the demolition of the well-known Kvity Ukrayiny (Flowers of Ukraine) building in central Kyiv, citing that the real estate developer infringed the copyright of Ukrainian architect Mykola Levchuk who designed the building in 1985.


This unique historical building is known for its cascading shape with a facade covered in 30-year-old grapevines and an atrium featuring stained-glass windows. The building initially accommodated the largest Kyiv flower shop, a glass house, a plant research center and an exhibition hall. Following Ukraine’s independence in 1991, the building was mostly leased to small enterprises, until it was acquired by a real estate developer who intended to replace the modernist Kvity Ukrayiny by a contemporary office building.


Under Ukrainian copyright law, architects may preserve the structural integrity of buildings they designed and are entitled to oppose any interference with the building which might damage their  reputation.


The real estate developer who acquired the building began dismantling the facade on July 12, 2021 without prior approval from the architect. On the same day, a group of activists and local residents broke into the construction site and halted the demolition.


Mr. Levchuk’s representatives are planning to initiate a claim to conserve the architectural design and recover the damages. On July 13, 2021, they requested the prohibition of further work on the site while the case is being prepared and considered by the court. On the same day, the court put a lien on the property, marking the first time in Ukrainian urban development that the court ordered a developer to stop the demolition based on architectural copyright infringement.


On August 3, 2021, Kyiv City State Administration’s Cultural Heritage Protection Department included the Kvity Ukrayiny building on the list of the capital’s cultural heritage sites. The real estate developer is now required to obtain a building permit from the authorities. Until then, any work on the site is prohibited. 


Prepared by: Valentyna Martynenko


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Gender Gap in Patent Filing Narrows both Internationally and in Hungary


According to the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), 9% of international patent applications were filed by female inventors in 2000, while this percentage increased to 16.5% by 2020.


In terms of PCT (Patent Cooperation Treaty) patent applications, the five fields with the highest percentage of female inventors are biotechnology (30%), pharmaceuticals (29%), food chemistry (29%), biological substance analysis (26%) and organic chemistry (25%). The research also indicates that 51% of all PCT applications in the academic sector involved female inventors, while only 30% in the business sector.


The relevant Hungarian data shows many similarities with the international data. According to the Hungarian Intellectual Property Office, the proportion of female inventors associated with national applications in the period 2000-2015 was 13.3%. The most popular fields among Hungarian women inventors were microstructure and nanotechnology (31%), biotechnology (29%) and organic chemistry (28%).


While the gender gap in patent filing is narrowing internationally, there is still a lot of room for improvement. While Latin America and the Caribbean have the highest share of female inventors with 19%, North America and Asia are at 17%, followed by Europe at only 14%.


Prepared by: Erika Farkas


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Hungarian Officials Detain Fakes during UEFA Euro 2021


The Hungarian National Tax and Customs Administration (NTCA) officials detained counterfeit scarves, T-shirts and masks during the four European Football Championship matches Budapest hosted in June 2021. The detained goods are estimated to be worth approximately EUR 1,400 (USD 1,645).


The NTCA teamed up with the Police, the National Board Against Counterfeiting and other public authorities and brand protection representatives to secure the Puskás Arena, where the matches were held, the official fan zones and the nearby City Park.


Prepared by: Erika Farkas


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Serbian Customs Detain Fake Apparel


On August 18, 2021, Serbian customs officials at the Gradina border crossing point with Bulgaria detained nearly 2,000 clothing items believed to infringe numerous trademarks, including Disney®, Mickey Mouse®, Minnie Mouse®, Nike®, Tommy Hilfiger®, Moncler®, Louis Vuitton®, Dolce & Gabbana® and Emporio Armani®.


The goods were discovered during the inspection of a truck travelling from Turkey to Serbia and are estimated to be worth approximately EUR 5,900 (USD 6,900).


Prepared by: Djurdja Krivokapić


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