Ukraine’s customs in January-July 2018 opened seven cases for violating customs rules on importing and exporting goods included in the customs register of intellectual property rights for UAH 1.4 million, Ukraine’s State Fiscal Service (SFS) said on Monday. Since the start of the year, customs officials have 4,200 times halted customs clearance because of possible violations of intellectual property rights, the SFS said. “In general, the situation as of August 1, 2018, is as follows: the legal owners of intellectual property rights entered 3,818 items into the customs registry. Of them, 206 have been entered since the start of 2018.
The registry lists items of ownership of intellectual property and associated rights, inventions, useful models, industrial samples, trademarks, geographical designators (indices of origin of goods) and plant varieties, the service said.
One case was brought against a Ukrainian entity that tried to import from China 4,400 pairs of sneakers with markings similar to the ADIDAS, NIKE, PUMA logos. The court confirmed that the goods were imported in violation of intellectual property rights. Goods worth more than UAH 1 million were confiscated seized and a UAH 17,000 fine was imposed.
“In a second case, a Ukrainian private enterprise attempted to import 417 headphones from China with unauthorized use of the image and the APPLE logo, which is included in the register of objects of intellectual property rights,” the agency said.
Under a court decision, goods worth UAH 104,200 were confiscated and the court also imposed a UAH 17,000 fine on the offender, the SFS said.
The Economic Development and Trade Ministry of Ukraine plans before august 20, 2018 to work on the issue of the creation of the institution of public intellectual property inspectors.
The respective decision was made at the first meeting of the Intellectual Property Council on June 14, according to materials published on the ministry’s website.
According to the report presented by Deputy Minister Mykhailo Tytarchuk, funding the institution is provided at the expense of penalties for copyright infringements.
According to the report, public inspectors have the right to conduct scheduled and unscheduled inspections to identify violations in the field of intellectual property. In addition, the law imposes on them the function of bringing infringers to administrative responsibility – through registration of administrative protocols and sending them to court. In case of revealing signs of criminal offenses, the public inspector sends relevant materials to law enforcement agencies.
However, today there is no such institution in Ukraine, which forces intellectual property entities to apply to court in case of violations, the ministry said.
The ministry pointed out the need for this step in the context of the “Special Report 301” issued by the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative.
The Cabinet of Ministers established the Intellectual Property Council as a consultative and advisory body on February 7, 2018.
The Ukrainian Intellectual Property Institute (Ukrpatent) issued 239 patents for inventions and useful models in the processing industry in 2017, including 42 in the sphere of production of key pharmaceutical products and medicines, which is the largest figure in the past five years. Ukrpatent told Interfax-Ukraine that in 2016, Ukrpatent issued 29 patents to national producers in the sphere of pharmaceutical production, 10 in 2015, seven in 2014 and 19 in 2013.
In January-March 2018, Ukrpatent issued 61 patents for inventions and utility models in the processing industry, including five in production of basic pharmaceutical products and medicines. In the first quarter of 2016 and 2017 in the field of pharmaceutical production, 11 patents were issued, in 2014 – none, in 2014 – four.
At the same time, Ukrpatent told Interfax-Ukraine that “Ukrainian legislation in the field of protection of rights to utility models and industrial designs does not provide for a qualification examination, so sometimes unfair applicants apply for facilities that are already in the economic flow.”
Ukrpatent reminded that in Ukraine patents for industrial designs and utility models are issued using the declarative system, which does not provide for a qualification examination, which, in the institute’s opinion, corresponds to a fairly widespread international practice.
In this case, the qualification examination can either be conducted, or not conducted, or carried out under a shortened procedure. According to the institute, in 2017, Ukrpatent received 2,480 applications for industrial designs, 9,105 applications for utility models and 4,048 applications for inventions. At the same time, Ukrpatent said that the term “declarative patent” is currently absent in the legislation of Ukraine.