Amendments to Belarus Trademark Law Enter into Force

Jan 31 2013 - 11:42

In accordance with the Law “On introduction of changes and amendments to some laws of the Republic of Belarus in matters of legal protection of intellectual property ”, the latest amendments to the Belarus Law “On Trademarks and Service Marks” came into force on January 15, 2013.

There are two main issues that should be brought to the attention of trademark owners and other users of trademark rights.

First, the national regime of exhaustion of trademark rights has been substituted with a regional regime. This amendment has been introduced in pursuance of Article 13 of the Agreement on Unified Principles of Regulation in the Sphere of IP Rights Protection, signed by Belarus, one of the current three member states of the Customs Union of Belarus, Russia and Kazakhstan. According to the amended Article 20.5 of the Belarus trademark law, the use of a trademark with respect to goods placed on the market in the territory of the member states, signatories of the agreement, by the trademark owner or with his consent, is not considered an infringement of the exclusive trademark owner’s rights. In other words, as of January 15, 2013, trademarks owners are not able to stop the import of goods into Belarus from Russia and Kazakhstan and/or prevent any other use of their trademarks in Belarus with respect to the goods which have been placed on the market in Belarus, Russia or Kazakhstan by the trademark owner or with his consent.

Another important amendment that has been introduced to the Belarus trademark law is Article 24, according to which trademark license agreements, trademark assignment agreements or trademark pledge agreements with respect to trademark rights valid on the territory of Belarus are considered null and void unless registered with the Belarus PTO. Before this amendment came into force, the registration of trademark-related agreements in Belarus was not obligatory.

By: Taras Kulbaba

For more information, please contact Taras Kulbaba at out Belgium office.

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