Law on Personal Data Protection Enters into Force in Belarus
The Law on Personal Data Protection was adopted on May 7, 2021 in Belarus, becoming the country’s first comprehensive legal act in the sphere of personal data protection. The law entered into force on November 15, 2021, six months after its adoption, in order to allow preparation time for entities processing personal data in Belarus.
The law defines personal data as any information relating to an identified or identifiable individual. Definitions for “biometric”, “genetic”, and “special” personal data are also provided in the legislative text. Activities covered by the term “data processing” include data collection, systematization, storage, modification, use, depersonalization, blocking, distribution, provision or removal.
The law defines three key parties in personal data processing:
- Data subject – an individual whose personal data is being processed;
- Operator – a legal entity, state body, an organization or an individual, including individual entrepreneurs, who organizes and/or carries out personal data processing independently or together with other persons;
- Authorized person – a legal entity, state body, an organization, or an individual, including individual entrepreneurs, who processes personal data on behalf of the operator or in their interests, based on a contract with the operator.
Personal Data Processing
Personal data should be processed on the basis of the data subject’s consent, unless the law expressly permits the processing of data without permission, such as in cases of the delivery of justice or execution of court orders.
The consent is a free, unambiguous and informed expression of the data subject’s will, by which they authorize the processing of their personal data. The consent can be obtained in written form, via SMS, email, by putting a mark on an Internet resource and by any other means establishing that the subject’s consent was obtained.
The law also establishes that the processing of personal data should:
- Be commensurate with the stated purposes and ensure a fair balance between interests of all persons concerned;
- Be limited to achieving the specified, legitimate purposes (if necessary to change the initial purposes, the operator should obtain the subject’s consent for further processing of their personal data);
- Not be excessive – the content and scope of processed personal data must be consistent with the stated purposes of its processing, and the data should not be stored for longer than needed for the stated purposes;
- Be transparent – the data subject must be provided with all relevant information concerning the processing of their personal data.
Local administrative and criminal laws were also amended – administrative liability was introduced on March 1, 2021 and criminal liability on June 9, 2021, for the breach of personal data protection legislation, namely for:
- Unauthorized collection, processing, storage or provision of personal data;
- Violating data subject’s rights;
- Dissemination of personal data; and
- Failure to comply with measures ensuring personal data protection.
Data Protection Authority
On October 28, 2021, Presidential Decree No. 422 “On measures to improve the protection of personal data” was adopted, designating the National Center for Personal Data Protection as the specialized, authorized data protection authority.
Among other duties, the Center oversees the processing of personal data by operators and authorized persons, considers data subjects’ complaints and obliges the operators and authorized persons to change, block or delete invalid or illegally obtained personal data and eliminate other violations of the law.
The new law has introduced important changes regarding the relations between the entities involved in data processing – the operators and authorized persons will also have to review the already stored personal data, gain consent from new data subjects, and ensure proper protection of personal data.
Prepared by: Anastasia Khioni
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Russia Bans Sale of 61 Samsung Smartphone Models over Patent Lawsuit
On October 26, 2021, the Moscow Arbitration Court issued an order listing 61 smartphone models which Samsung may no longer import, store or sell in Russia.
The court order, which has not yet entered into force, follows the Arbitration Court’s July 2021 decision stating that Samsung infringed the Russian patent No. 2686003 owned by SQWIN SA, a financial services and mobile payment company based in Switzerland.
Back in February 2020, SQWIN brought a patent infringement action against Samsung Electronics and its Russian subsidiary Samsung Electronics Rus Company claiming that they illegally used SQWIN’s patent for an online payment transaction system within their “Samsung Pay” service, which lets users make online payments using compatible phones and other Samsung devices. In its July 2021 decision, the Arbitration Court ordered Samsung to stop using SQWIN’s patent in Russia, while the recent court order lists all Samsung smartphone models featuring the “Samsung Pay” technology which are to be banned in Russia.
Samsung has filed an appeal, which should be considered by the end of 2021. If the appeal is rejected (which is very likely because appellate courts in Russia usually uphold decisions of first instance courts), the court order will come into effect and Samsung will not be able to import and sell its smartphones featuring the “Samsung Pay” service in Russia. However, Samsung will be able to file a cassation appeal with the specialized IP Court, which normally pays close attention to patent infringement cases.
On November 15 and 19, 2021, Samsung filed invalidation actions against SQWIN’s patents with the Chamber of Patent Disputes (CPD) of the Russian Intellectual Property Office, and the first hearing is scheduled for December 24, 2021.
It remains to be seen how this case will progress. So far SQWIN has not claimed damages and legal costs, but they might do so once the patent infringement case passes all appeals. They might attempt to persuade Samsung to sign a worldwide license agreement with them, because SQWIN also has patents in China, Japan, Korea, and the US. If the first instance court decision is confirmed by higher instances, SQWIN could even decide to sue other smartphone manufacturers for using the same technology.
By: Tatyana Kulikova
For more information, please contact Tatyana Kulikova at our Russia office.
Ukrainian Wine Producer Fined for Unfair Competition
The Ukrainian Supreme Court has recently upheld the decisions of the Ukrainian Antimonopoly Committee imposing a total of EUR 34,500 (USD 39,000) in fines on the Ukrainian wine producer NVP Niva TOV for violating the local competition protection legislation by using misleading bottle labels and deceptive packaging design in order to indicate the wine’s alleged Italian origin.
In September 2018, the Antimonopoly Committee fined Niva EUR 7,170 (USD 8,100) for using the ‘Prosecco’ designation and a bottle design confusingly similar to that of the Italian wine manufacturer Santero Fratelli & C I.V.A.S.S. SpA.
NVP Niva TOV
Santero Fratelli & C I.V.A.S.S. SpA
The Antimonopoly Committee also imposed another fine on Niva in the amount of EUR 1,660 (USD 1,880) for providing misleading information on the back labels and bottleneck labels of its “Champagne of Ukraine Brut”. The labels featured the colors of the Italian flag and indicated that grapes of Italian origin were used for making the wines.
Finally, in October 2018, the Antimonopoly Committee fined Niva EUR 25,650 (USD 29,000) for including misleading information on the labels of its “Salute Asti Sparkling Sweet White Wine”. These labels also claimed that the grapes used for producing the wine originated in Italy and featured the wording “from Italian producers from Piedmont”.
Niva appealed the Antimonopoly Committee’s decisions, but the Supreme Court ultimately upheld them.
Prepared by: Valentyna Martynenko
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Igor Alfiorov Appointed WIPO Domain Name Panelist
PETOŠEVIĆ Ukraine Associate Igor Alfiorov was recently appointed WIPO Domain Name Panelist under the .UA Dispute Resolution Policy (UA-DRP) as part of the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center which provides domain name dispute resolution services without the need for court litigation.
Igor can now serve as an arbiter in domain name disputes under the UA-DRP, the Ukrainian variation of the Uniform Domain-Name Dispute-Resolution Policy (UDRP).
For more information, please contact Igor Alfiorov at our Ukraine office.
Mayya Pak Appointed Co-Chair of INTA Judicial Administration and Trademark Litigation Subcommittee
PETOŠEVIĆ Russia Associate Mayya Pak was recently appointed Co-Chair of the Judicial Administration and Trademark Litigation Subcommittee of the International Trademark Association’s (INTA) Enforcement Committee, for the term 2022-2023.
Mayya is an active INTA member and has served on the Enforcement Committee since 2020.
For more information, please contact Mayya Pak.