Introduction:

 

Language: Belarusian, Russian

Capital: Minsk

Area: 207,595 km2

Population: 9,498,700 (2016)

Currency: Belarusian ruble (BYN)

Religion: Eastern Orthodoxy (41%), Roman Catholics (7%), other religion (3%).

Geographical situation: is a landlocked country in Eastern Europe bordered by Russia to the northeast, Ukraine to the south, Poland to the west, and Lithuania and Latvia to the northwest.

 

International treaty membership:

Singapore Treaty on the Law of Trademarks (May 13, 2014)

Protocol Relating to the Madrid Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Marks (January 18, 2002)

Nice Agreement Concerning the International Classification of Goods and Services for the Purposes of the Registration of Marks (June 12, 1998)

Madrid Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Marks (December 25, 1991)

Convention Establishing the World Intellectual Property Organization (April 26, 1970)

 

Legislation:

Law of the Republic of Belarus No. 2181-XII of February 5, 1993, on Trademarks and Service Marks (as amended up to July 9, 2012)

 

Government Institutions:

National Center of Intellectual Property (NCIP)

 

Type of trademark:

As trademarks may be registered signs consisting of words, including proper names, combinations of colors, signs consisting of letters, numbers, graphics, three-dimensional signs, including the form of the good or its packaging, and also combinations of such signs. Other signs may be registered as trademarks in cases provided by the legislative acts of the Republic of Belarus.

The following trademark types are registrable: trademarks, service marks, collective marks.

 

Ground for refusal:

Absolute ground for refusal:

- not having distinctive character;

- accepted in general use as a sign of goods of a certain kind;

- being customary symbols and terms;

- consisting exclusively from marks or indications used for a designation of a kind, quality, quantity, property, purpose, value of the goods, and also of a place, time, and process of their manufacturing or selling;

-Representing the form of the good or its packaging, determined exclusively or mainly by the essence or nature of the good, necessity of achievement of a technical result, essential value of the good.

- It is not allowed to register trademarks consisting only from signs representing state armorial bearings, flags, and emblems, official names of the states, flags, emblems and abbreviations, or names of international intergovernmental organizations, official control, warranty and assay hallmarks, awards and other insignia or similar to them to the extent of confusion. Such signs may be included as unprotected elements in a trademark if there is a consent thereto of an appropriate competent body or their owner.

- Signs which are contrary to public order, principles of humanity and morality.

 

Other ground for refusal:

- Mark identical or similar to an earlier trademark

- Mark identical or similar to a well known trademark

- The name, known in the Republic of Belarus, of a work of science, literature or art; a character or citation from such a work; a work of art or its fragment, without the consent of the right holder, if the right to the respective work arose prior to the priority date of the trademark being registered;

- The name of a mass medium registered in the Republic of Belarus without the consent of its founder (founders), in relation to goods of the same kind;

- The last name, first name, pseudonym or a sign derived from them, portrait or facsimile of a person known in the Republic of Belarus, without the consent of this person or his heirs.

 

Application content:

The application must contain:

- a request for registration of a sign as a trademark with indication of the applicant and also his place of stay or place of residence;

- requested sign;

- List of goods for which the protection of the trademark is sought, and also, if possible, indication of a respective class (classes) according to the International Classification of Goods and Services for the Purposes of the Registration of Marks. If the applicant does not indicate class (classes), the patent body shall classify the goods according to respective classes of the International Classification of Goods and Services for the Purposes of the Registration of Marks.

The request must be accompanied:

- by a document confirming the payment of the patent duty in the established amount;

- by a document confirming the powers of the patent agent if the application is filed by a patent agent;

 

Application process:

The first step after the application has been submitted is the preliminary expert examination, which will verify if all the required documents have been provided. This examination shall be conducted within two months from the date of application.

Correction can be made by applicant within 3 months.

When the application is accepted for consideration, the date of filing of the application shall be established.

Then the expert examination of requested sign will be proceeded.

The decision of the expert examination about registration of a trademark may be revised by the patent body in connection with the receipt of an application enjoying an earlier priority for a sign identical or similar to the extent of confusion in relation to goods of the same kind.

An expert re-examination shall be conducted within a two-month period from the date of receipt of the petition of the applicant.

On the basis of the decision on registration of a trademark, the patent body shall within one month from the date of receipt of the document about payment of the established patent duty, effect the registration of a trademark in the State register of trademarks and service marks of the Republic of Belarus. The data concerning registration of a trademark and also subsequent changes of these data shall be entered in the Register.

 

Refusal:

If the application does not provide all the requested documents after the legal time limit for amendment, if the signs has no distinctiveness, or another mark has priority the application will be refused.

The applicant can modify his application on request by the office, and can also after the decision of refusal make an appeal of such decision within one year after receipt of this decision.

The complaint must be considered within one month from the date of its receipt by the Appeal Council. The decision of the Appeal Council may be appealed by the applicant to the Supreme Court of the Republic of Belarus within six months from the date of receipt of the decision.

 

Rights of exploitation and related delay:

The registration of a trademark is effective within ten years from the date of filing the application with the patent body. The duration of the registration of a trademark may be renewed, without limitation of the number of renewals, upon a request of the owner filed within the last year of its duration, each time for ten years. Upon a petition of the owner for renewal of the duration of the registration of a trademark, he may be given a six-month time limit after the expiration of the duration of registration, subject to payment of the patent duty.

The owner of a trademark has the exclusive right to use the trademark and to dispose of it, and also the right to prohibit the use of the trademark by other persons.

 

Transfer and conditions:

The right to a trademark may be conceded by the owner of the trademark under a contract to an organization or a citizen in respect of all or a part of goods for which it is registered. The cession of the right to a trademark is not allowed if it can be a reason for misleading the consumer concerning the good or its manufacturer.

This transfer shall entered in the State register.

 

Certification:

A certificate shall be issued for the registered trademark. The certificate for a trade mark certifies the priority of the trademark, the exclusive right of the owner to the trade mark in relation to goods specified in the certificate and contains a reproduction of the trade mark.

 

Withdrawal and cancellation:

A request for premature termination of the legal protection of a trademark because of its non-use may be filed by any person with the Supreme Court of the Republic of Belarus upon the expiration of the indicated three years provided that the trademark has not been used till the filing of such a request.

Granting of legal protection to a trademark may be recognized invalid in full or in part:

-within the duration of the legal protection in the case of transformation of the trademark into a designation which became universally used as a designation of goods of a certain kind;

-within the duration of the legal protection if actions of the owners of the trademark connected with the registration have been recognized by the antimonopoly body or the court as unfair competition;

 

Customs protection:

If a rights holder wishes border measures to be applied, it or its representative should apply to the State Customs Committee and file documents certifying its exclusive rights and describing the goods. In addition, the rights holder must lodge a written agreement to indemnify an importer of disputed goods for any possible damage if the goods are found to be genuine. The State Customs Committee issues its decision within one month. If it decides in favor of the rights holder, the object of the exclusive rights is included in the customs register of IP rights for up to two years.

t. If Customs comes across any sign of counterfeiting during the period of registration, it will detain the suspect goods for 10 days and notify the rights holder by the following day. The rights holder may require Customs to provide additional information about the suspect goods and the person who presented the goods for customs clearance (the declarant). It is also entitled to apply for samples of the goods.

The rights holder or its representative may apply to the court or to the competent law enforcement authorities to launch civil, administrative or criminal procedures, as appropriate.

After decision of the court recognizing the goods as counterfeit, the protected signs on the good will be remove, and those goods will be destroyed.

 

 

Sources:

Wipo.int:

Law of the Republic of Belarus No. 2181-XII of February 5, 1993, on Trademarks and Service Marks (as amended up to July 9, 2012)

http://www.worldtrademarkreview.com/Intelligence/Anti-Counterfeiting/2012/Country-chapters/Belarus

 

Vincent Lagier

創作者介紹

眾律國際法律/專利商標事務所

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