Kazakhstan Amends Trademark Law
Numerous amendments to Kazakhstan’s trademark law entered into force on January 31, 2012. The most important changes are explained below.
The list of absolute grounds for refusal has been shortened, namely the part related to the lack of a distinctive character. However, the instructions for conducting examinations have not been published yet, so it is not clear how such changes will be implemented in practice.
The formal examination period has been shortened from two months to one month, while the substantive examination period has been shortened from 12 months to 9 months, which will speed up the trademark registration procedure before the Kazakh PTO.
Licensing and assignment procedures, as well as the procedure for filing oppositions before the Board of Appeals, are now more clearly outlined.
Finally, the amendments establish strict requirements regarding the language of the documents filed with the Kazakh PTO. Trademark applications may be filed in either Russian or Kazakh, while assignments, oppositions and the documents that go along with them, such as the supplements and the Power of Attorney, must be filed in both Russian and Kazakh. In case these documents are filed in another language, notarized translation into both Russian and Kazakh is required.
The stricter language requirements contribute to an increase in the filing costs and have therefore caused negative reactions among the local patent and trademark attorneys. It is expected that the language requirements will be reduced once the Singapore Treaty on the Law of Trademarks enters into force in Kazakhstan, which is expected to occur on September 5, 2012.
By: Elena Zubenko
For more information, please contact Elena Zubenko at our Ukraine office.
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