6 April, 2024

Registration of intellectual property rights

Insights
8 минут

Intellectual property (IP) is a broad term that encompasses a variety of rights to intangible assets created by your intellect, such as inventions, trademarks, literary and artistic works, and software. In Ukraine, the system of IP legislation is designed to stimulate innovation, protect investors, innovators, and creative people, while creating conditions for transparent competition. Understanding the types of intellectual property and their benefits is key to successful business development in the digital age. This article examines the main aspects of IP protection in Ukraine.

Main intellectual property objects in Ukraine

The system of intellectual property (IP) protection in Ukraine is based on the relevant legislation and international agreements to which the country is a party. The law defines which works and ideas can be protected as intellectual property and grants various prerogatives to the owners of such objects. Let’s take a look at the most significant categories of intellectual property in Ukraine:

  • Copyright: This branch of IP provides protection for a wide range of original works, including:
    • Literary works (books, articles, scripts);
    • Musical works (with or without lyrics);
    • Dramatic works, choreography, pantomimes;
    • Solo works (paintings, sculptures, architecture);
    • Photos, illustrations, maps, plans and drawings;
    • Computer programs;
    • Databases.

Copyright arises automatically from the moment a work is created, but additional, official copyright registration in Ukraine may be required in case of legal disputes. Registration of a copyright certificate serves as additional proof of your authorship.

  • Patent law grants exclusive rights to the creators of technical solutions, in particular:
    • Inventions (new products and technologies with improved functions)
    • Utility models (small technical improvements for existing products)
    • Industrial designs (original design solution for the appearance of a product)

It is important to know that it is not the ideas themselves that are subject to patenting, but rather their specific technical embodiment and application in products, technologies or design. The patenting process can be quite complex and requires careful preparation of applications, so consulting with a patent attorney may be helpful.

  • Trademarks: allow you to protect the marks that identify the goods or services of a particular entrepreneur or manufacturer, distinguishing them from competitors.

They can be:

    • Words and titles (including proper names, place names);
    • Logos and images;
    • Slogan;
    • Special forms of product packaging;
    • Sounds or colour combinations.

Trademarks require registration with the Ukrainian National Office of Intellectual Property and Innovation. Without this, other businesses could potentially use similar symbols, creating unfair competition.

  • Other types of intellectual property:
    • Geographical indications (the name of a place can be used to describe a product that has certain properties due to its connection with that territory);
    • Trade secrets (confidential business information of commercial value);
    • Plant varieties (new varieties have special qualities).

IP legislation is constantly being updated and developed. To protect a particular object, it is worth learning about the current requirements and having a strategic vision of the types of IP that are important for your business.

The process of registering intellectual property rights in Ukraine

The Ukrainian National Office of Intellectual Property and Innovation plays a central role in the intellectual property protection system in Ukraine. Here are some of the key functions of this institution:

  • Review and registration of applications for patents in such areas as inventions, utility models, industrial designs;
  • Examination of applications and registration of trademarks;
  • Maintaining state registers of intellectual property;
  • Reviewing applications for registration of rights and issuing certificates for works in the field of copyright and related rights;
  • IP-related information and consulting services.

Although the registration of different categories of IP objects has its own specifics, in most cases the following general stages of the process can be identified:

  1. Preparation of the application: It is necessary to collect the prescribed package of documents and fill in the appropriate application form, following the current legal requirements. The forms can be obtained from the Ukrainian National Office of Intellectual Property and Innovations or from specialists providing IP services.
  2. Filing an application and payment of state fees: Documents can be filed in person, in paper form, by mail, or electronically through the portal of the Ukrainian National Office of Intellectual Property and Innovations. Payment of state fees for the application consideration is a mandatory step in this process.
  3. Formal examination: Specialists of the Ukrainian National Office of Intellectual Property and Innovations check the correctness of the application and the availability of all necessary documents, compliance with the established requirements.
  4. Decision-making and publication: After successful examination, the Ukrainian National Office of Intellectual Property and Innovations makes a decision on state registration of the relevant intellectual property object and publishes data on this in its official bulletin.
  5. Granting of a title of protection: Upon payment of the relevant fees, the applicant is granted a title of protection (patent or certificate).

The IP registration process can be complex, especially for those who have not worked in this area before. Filling out an application, communicating with the Ukrainian National Office of Intellectual Property and Innovations, and keeping up with new rules requires attention to detail and an understanding of legal nuances. By contacting the specialists of Polikarpov Law Firm, you can delegate tasks related to the registration and protection of your intellectual property and be sure of competent case management and legal support at all stages.

Protection of intellectual property rights

The official registration of intellectual property rights is not only a formality, but also a tool for protection. If you have a patent or certificate, you have grounds to apply to the relevant authorities and take the necessary measures in case of infringement of your rights.

Ukrainian law provides for several mechanisms to protect intellectual property, depending on the specifics of the infringement:

  • Administrative liability: Certain types of intellectual property infringements are subject to fines and confiscation of the relevant products.
  • In the case of large-scale, systematic violations, or with signs of criminal intent, criminal liability is provided, which may even entail imprisonment.

What should I do if my intellectual property rights are violated?
If you find that someone is illegally using your trademark, patent, or distributing your intellectual property without permission, it is important to act immediately:

  1. Collecting evidence: Record the illegal use in the form of photos, screenshots, ordering samples of counterfeit goods from the website, etc.
  2. Consultation with a lawyer: A professional intellectual property lawyer will explain the situation from a legal point of view, confirm the existence of a violation and suggest a strategy for further action.
  3. Dispute resolution: Depending on the case, a lawyer may first try to establish communication with the infringer to resolve the issue out of court. If this does not work, the next instance is the court.

The proliferation of counterfeit goods and copyright infringement does not just undermine the economics of legitimate businesses. It supports illegal practices, misinforms consumers and threatens their safety. By registering your intellectual property rights and acting proactively in the event of infringement, you are contributing not only to protecting your own business, but also to the development of transparent competitive relations and consumer confidence in Ukraine.

Conclusion.

The process of registering intellectual property can have nuances. For legal assistance and legal services, please contact the lawyers of Polikarpov Law Firm. We will help you protect your creative and innovative developments in accordance with Ukrainian law.

 

What types of intellectual property can be registered?

In Ukraine, the law provides for the possibility of registering the following types of intellectual property:

  1. Trade marks
  • These are marks that identify a particular product or service, distinguishing it from its competitors. They can be:
    • Word marks (titles, slogans)
    • Image marks (logos, emblems)
    • Combined (combination of text and image)
    • Other non-traditional types (sound, volume marks, etc.)

    .

  1. Industrial samples
  • Protect the appearance (design) of the product. This is an important category for products where aesthetics have a significant impact on competitiveness. The shape, lines, configuration and colour of the product are protected.
  1. Inventions and utility models
  • Invention – a solution to a technical problem in any field that is new, involves an inventive step and is industrially applicable.
  • A utility model has the same criteria, however, the inventive step may be reduced. Protects technical solutions concerning the form, construction of a device or product.
  1. Geographical indications
  • These are designations that indicate that the product originates from a certain territory and has special qualities due to this territory of origin (climate, raw materials, human factor). For example, “Carpathian tea”, “Melitopol cherry”.
  1. Copyright
  • It arises automatically at the moment of creation of the work, but may be confirmed by a certificate. Works of science, literature and art are protected. For example: books, paintings, music, computer programmes, etc.

It’s important to note:

  • In addition to direct registration, certain rights may arise automatically at the time of creation (copyright, trade secret rights).
  • Registration is not compulsory, but provides the owner with a number of advantages, such as greater protection and a simplified process of proving his or her right in the event of a dispute.

In order to accurately determine the procedures and specifics of registration of a particular type of intellectual property, qualified specialists, in particular patent attorneys, should be consulted.

Can I register intellectual property rights in other countries?

Yes, intellectual property has a territorial effect, i.e. the rights you obtain in Ukraine are valid only on its territory. To protect your rights abroad, it is necessary to undergo the registration procedure directly in the country where you wish to obtain protection.

There are international treaties and agreements to simplify the intellectual property registration procedure. For example:

  • The Madrid System for the International Registration of Trade Marks allows one application to be filed through the Ukrainian Office (Ukrpatent) for registration of a trade mark in the member countries of this system.
  • The Patent Co-operative Treaty (PCT) simplifies the patent application process in a number of countries.

Options for registering intellectual property abroad:

  1. National Registration: Submit separate applications to the patent office of each country where you wish to be protected.
  2. International registration: Use of international treaties, such as the Madrid system or the PCT, allowing a single application to be filed for registration in several countries.

The optimal registration option depends on a number of factors:

  • Budget
  • Number of countries where protection is required
  • Type of intellectual property

Recommendation: For professional advice on registration of intellectual property abroad, contact a patent attorney who has experience in international practice. He will help you choose a registration strategy, prepare the necessary documents and represent your interests before foreign offices.

What should I do if my intellectual property is infringed?

In case of infringement of your intellectual property rights in Ukraine, it is important to act promptly and consistently. Here are the steps you should pay attention to:

  1. Evidence collection
  • Keep samples of misuse of your intellectual property (adverts, copies of goods, websites, etc.). If possible, notarise the infringements with a notary.
  • Find out information about the offender (name/name, address, contact details).
  • Evaluate the possible damage you have suffered.
  1. Options for dispute resolution
  • Claim (pre-trial) procedure: Send a written claim to the perpetrator, detailing the fact of the violation, your protected rights, demanding that the wrongdoing stop and possibly compensation. Often the very fact of receiving a valid claim can stop the abuser.
  • Recourse to state authorities: Depending on the situation, you may file a complaint with the Antimonopoly Committee of Ukraine (in cases of protection against unfair competition), or with the Ministry of Economy (in cases of trade marks and geographical indications).
  • Contact law enforcement authorities: Provide a statement to the police or prosecutor’s office, especially if the offender’s actions fall under criminal liability (e.g., significant counterfeit goods).
  • Judicial defence: File a lawsuit in the appropriate court (commercial or general court, depending on the nature of the dispute) to protect your rights and obtain compensation.
  1. Choice of strategy

Which scenario would be most appropriate for your particular case depends on a number of factors:

  • Type of intellectual property object
  • Seriousness and scale of the offence
  • Evidence base
  • The material and time resources you possess.

Recommendation

Protecting intellectual property requires a professional approach. Therefore, to protect your rights and obtain professional advice, contact an experienced lawyer or patent attorney who specialises in intellectual property. They will help you assess the situation, choose the right strategy of action and represent your interests in court or other authorities.

How long is copyright valid without registration?

In Ukraine, as in most countries of the world, copyright arises automatically at the moment of creation of a work. This means that copyright registration is not mandatory, but the very fact of creation provides certain benefits and protection to the author of the work.

Term of copyright without registration:

  • Copyright is valid during the life of the author and 70 years after his death.
  • For anonymous and pseudonymous works, 70 years from the date of publication (if the author has not revealed his or her identity within this period).
  • For collective works, 70 years from the time of publication of the work.

What additionally gives copyright registration:

  • Although copyright exists without registration, the registration certificate is a formal proof of your authorship. This simplifies the procedure of proving your rights in case of disputes.
  • Registration allows you to receive certain social benefits under the law.

It’s important to remember:

  • Copyright only protects the form of expression of an idea, not the idea itself. Works must be original and creative.
  • Copyrighted literary, scientific and artistic works such as computer programmes, books, paintings, music, videos, etc.

If you have any doubts or questions about the nuances of copyright law, it is advisable to seek advice from a lawyer who specialises in intellectual property.

Resources
  1. Law of Ukraine “On Protection of Rights to Marks for Goods and Services”. Link.
  2. Law of Ukraine “On Copyright and Related Rights”. Link.
  3. Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works. Link.
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