Ukraine Introduces TSG Protection
On September 7, 2022, a new law entered into force in Ukraine introducing the protection of the so-called “traditional specialities guaranteed” (TSGs), as well as changes regarding the protection of geographical indications (GIs). The changes bring the Ukrainian legislation in line with Regulation (EU) No. 1151/2012 on quality schemes for agricultural products and foodstuffs and with the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement.
TSG designation differs from the GI and PDO (protected designation of origin) insofar that this quality scheme does not link a product to its geographical origin but highlights the specific character of a product, the traditional composition or means of production of the product.
More precisely, the designation has to refer to a traditional agricultural product or foodstuff; indicate the specific character of the product or foodstuff; describe a product that is the result of a specific production/processing method or that is characterized by a composition that corresponds to a traditional production/processing method; or describe a product produced from raw materials or ingredients that have been used traditionally. Moreover, the product has to retain its specific character regardless of changes in its packaging or labeling, while the designation has to be in line with the public interest and principles of humanity and morality.
It is also possible to grant legal protection to foreign TSGs, provided that such designations contain the term "traditional specialty guaranteed" or similar, as well as the name of the country or region of production.
The law provides for the creation of a new government agency which will cooperate with the Ukrainian IPO and be responsible for:
- Appointing a TSG examination commission;
- Processing TSG applications;
- Conducting quality control before and after TSG certificates are issued;
- Creating and maintaining the state TSG register; and
- Establishing boundaries for regions indicated by the GIs.
The law has also introduced a new provision related to GI protection. If an opposition is filed in Ukraine against a joint, cross-border GI application submitted by multiple applicants originating from different countries, the opposition procedure is carried out simultaneously in each country of origin of applicants, and the applicants therefore have to ensure that all relevant documents are submitted to each country’s IPO. This new provision is expected to ensure a thorough evaluation of a contested joint application because it will involve multiple examiners from different countries.
By: Ostap Khomyn
For more information, please contact Ostap Khomyn at our Ukraine office.
New Copyright Law Enters into Force in Moldova
On October 9, 2022, the new copyright and related rights law entered into force in Moldova, aiming to transpose several EU directives in the field of copyright into national legislation and generally improve the copyright protection system in the country.
The law introduced an additional annual remuneration payable to performers by phonogram producers for each full year following the 50th year from the phonogram’s first lawful publication or its first communication to the public. This right cannot be waived by performers and is enforced through a designated collective management organization (CMO).
The law increases the accountability standards for CMOs by establishing clearer mechanisms for the collection and distribution of royalties. CMOs are now also required to prepare and publish an annual transparency report that includes information on their activities, collected royalties, financial statements and license refusals.
The management fees right holders pay to CMOs are now capped at 30% of the amounts distributed to right holders. No specific limit was provided for previously.
The Moldovan IPO director will appoint a CMO to collect remunerations payable to authors and copyright and related rights owners for the rights managed collectively on a mandatory basis or through extended collective management.
A section of the law is dedicated to the negotiation procedure through which CMOs and users of copyright-protected works establish the remuneration amounts payable to right holders and the conditions for their collection and payment. Specifically, this section includes provisions regarding the initiation of the negotiation procedure, the principle of good faith in negotiations, the procedure itself and the types of remunerations users should pay to CMOs (flat rates or percentages).
The law also includes new provisions regarding the use of copyright-protected subject matter by online content-sharing service providers. It is now expressly stipulated that the provider performs an act of communication to the public or an act of making available of copyright-protected works to the public when granting public access to the protected content uploaded by its users.
By: Mara Marinescu
For more information, please contact Mara Marinescu at our Romania office.
New Implementing Regulations of the Trademark Law Enter into Force in Romania
Amendments to the Government Decision No. 1134/2010 on the approval of the Implementing Regulations of the Law on Trademarks and Geographical Indications entered into force in Romania on October 7, 2022.
The amendments intend to align the provisions of the Implementing Regulations with those of the trademark law, which was amended in July 2020. The Implementing Regulations were supposed to be amended by September 13, 2020, but the amendments came only two years later, after a period of uncertainty caused by the discrepancy between the new law and the former Implementing Regulations. The main amendments are explained below.
Representation before the Romanian IPO
The new regulations explicitly provide that a Power of Attorney (PoA) should indicate the scope of the mandate, the date on which the power was granted and its duration; the previous regulations did not include such requirements. For trademark applications or procedures that involve registered trademarks, the deadline for the subsequent filing of the PoA is extended to two months from the filing date, as opposed to the previous shorter deadline of 30 days. In these cases, the new regulations clarify that in the absence of a PoA, the procedures will continue with the applicant or trademark owner; the previous regulations did not cover this situation.
The new regulations provide for the possibility to upload audio or video files when filing an application for a sound, motion, hologram or multimedia trademark. This provision is now more consistent with the elimination of the graphic representation requirement.
Distinctiveness Acquired through Use
Along with the trademark application, the applicant can file a declaration stating that the trademark acquired distinctiveness through use, and support the declaration with evidence. The previous regulations did not provide for this possibility.
The new regulations clarify the minimum requirements for filing a formal opposition. One of the minimum requirements, which represents a significant change compared to the previous provisions, is that the opposition notice should include the following details of the prior right being invoked: trademark registration number, filing date and, if applicable, registration date and priority date. The PoA can be filed within two months from filing the opposition. The regulations also provide that the observations filed by the applicant in response to an opposition are communicated to the opponent, who is then granted 30 days to file a response.
The new regulations explicitly state that observations filed by third parties are communicated to the applicant, who can then present their response during the examination proceedings.
If a renewal request has deficiencies, the trademark owner is granted 30 days to remedy them, as opposed to three months as previously provided.
Recordation of Assignments, Transfers, Licenses and Other Rights
Certified true copies of supporting documents are now sufficient to prove these changes. Previously, it was necessary to submit original documents or legalized copies to prove any type of transfer of rights.
Changes Concerning the Name/Address of Trademark Owner/Representative
Certified true copies of supporting documents are sufficient to prove these changes. The previous regulations did not contain any provisions concerning such formalities.
By: George Irimescu
For more information, please contact George Irimescu at our Romania office.
Montenegro Joined EPO: What Does that Mean for Patent Holders?
On October 1, 2022, Montenegro became the 39th member state of the European Patent Organisation (EPO), meaning that Montenegro will automatically be included as a designated state for European patents filed on or after October 1, 2022. It is no longer necessary to pay the extension fee.
While it is not possible to designate Montenegro retroactively in applications filed before October 1, 2022, it was possible for applicants who filed applications in September 2022 to request that EPO indicates October 1, 2022 as their filing date in order to include Montenegro as a designated state.
The validation process for European patents designating Montenegro, whether they were filed between March 10, 2010 and September 30, 2022, when Montenegro was an Extension State, or starting from October 1, 2022, when Montenegro became a Contracting State, remains unchanged. Once the patent is granted, three months from the publication of the EPO B1 document (European patent specification – granted patent), applicants have to file a validation request for Montenegro, including a translation of the patent claims and drawings, if any, and a Power of Attorney. The patent will be valid in Montenegro for a maximum of 20 years from the application filing date, as long as the annuities are paid before the Montenegrin IPO in a timely manner.
Another advantage of Montenegro becoming an EPO member state is that Montenegrin nationals and persons with a business registered in Montenegro can now file patent applications before EPO. The applications can be filed directly before EPO or before the Montenegrin IPO, which will deliver the documents to EPO.
Prepared by: Jelena Radević
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Hungarian Customs Detain Fake Accessories
The Hungarian National Tax and Customs Administration officials recently detained a shipment of hats and scarves believed to infringe the Givenchy® trademark.
The goods, estimated to be worth approximately EUR 31,500, were discovered during the inspection of a truck travelling from Romania to Italy. The inspection took place on the M7 motorway in the Fejér county in central Hungary.
Prepared by: Erika Farkas
For more information, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Serbian Customs Detain Fake Apparel
On October 3 and 4, 2022, Serbian customs officials detained 800 apparel items believed to infringe various trademarks, including Nike®, Adidas®, Replay®, The North Face® and Diesel®.
The goods, which included sweatpants, leggings, sweatshirts, jackets and jeans, were discovered during the inspection of two courier service vehicles near the town of Bogutovac in central Serbia.
Prepared by: Djurdja Krivokapić
For more information, please contact email@example.com.
Viktoriia Smyrnova Presents at PTMG Autumn Conference
PETOŠEVIĆ Ukraine Associate Viktoriia Smyrnova held a presentation on IP developments and issues in Eastern Europe in uncertain times, during the recent Pharmaceutical Trade Marks Group (PTMG) Autumn Conference held in Lisbon, Portugal in early October.
The presentation was attended by around 300 conference participants, including PETOŠEVIĆ Ukraine Associate Igor Alfiorov. Viktoriia gave an overview of the events that took place after the dissolution of the former USSR, including the creation of the Commonwealth of the Independent States (CIS) and the establishment of the Eurasian Patent Organization (EAPO) and the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU). Viktoriia then compared the Eurasian, European and international trademark and design systems, with a particular focus on the pharmaceutical market.
For more information, please contact Viktoriia Smyrnova at our Ukraine office.
PETOŠEVIĆ Croatia Team Meets INTA CEO in Zagreb
On October 4, 2022, PETOŠEVIĆ Croatia team members attended the “Meet INTA's CEO in Zagreb” event organized at a hotel in the Croatian capital.
The meeting was attended by PETOŠEVIĆ Croatia Head of Office Ivan Kos, Senior Trademark and Patent Paralegal Grozdana Topolnjak, Search Analyst Coordinator Many Vučajnk and Office Manager Helena Stančić, as well as trademark professionals from other local law firms that are INTA members.
Besides discussing the upcoming INTA 2022 Leadership Meeting and the 2023 Annual Meeting, the local INTA members also had a chance to bring up trademark-related issues they and their clients often face in Croatia. The INTA CEO Etienne Sanz de Acedo later presented and discussed the issues during his meeting with the Croatian IPO and local court representatives.
For more information, please contact Ivan Kos at our Croatia office.