Uzbekistan Introduces Measures to Improve IPR Protection System
On January 28, 2021, the President of Uzbekistan issued the Resolution “On Measures to Improve the Intellectual Property Protection System”, introducing numerous changes in the field of intellectual property.
Most importantly, starting from April 1, 2021, all legal entities and individuals willing to register their trademarks and service marks will be entitled to do so. Currently, trademarks can only be registered in the name of a legal or natural person carrying out entrepreneurial activity.
Also starting from April 1, 2021, the Uzbek IPO will adopt the expedited examination procedure, but it remains to be seen how long the procedure will take under the Resolution as the document does not indicate this time frame. The procedure, including formal and substantive examinations, currently takes at least eight months for trademarks and up to five years for patents.
The Uzbek IPO can now appoint outsourced examiners, which can also lead to a faster examination procedure, although possibly of a lower quality, because it usually takes three to five years for an examiner to obtain significant practical experience.
By the end of March 2021, the Supreme Court, the Ministry of Justice and the Antimonopoly Committee will develop a training program for judges in the field of intellectual property and introduce a training system by the end of 2021.
IP Protection Centers have also been created in each of Uzbekistan’s 12 regions. The Centers are intended to participate in a systematic fight against the sale of counterfeits by issuing infringement notices and administrative actions. They will also provide field support in the registration of IP rights.
The Resolution also foresees important activities in the field of IP protection to be implemented in 2021 and 2022, including the following:
By April 10, 2021 – developing a number of draft laws providing for more severe administrative liability for trademark and copyright infringement, introducing compensation for trademark infringement by legal entities ranging from EUR 2,120 (USD 2,500) to EUR 4,240 (USD 5,000), as well as criminal liability for trademark and copyright infringement;
By April 20, 2021 – taking measures to accede to the Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works for Persons Who Are Blind, Visually Impaired or Otherwise Print Disabled; the Singapore Treaty on the Law of Trademarks; the Geneva Act of the Hague Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Industrial Designs; and the International Convention for the Protection of Performers, Producers of Phonograms and Broadcasting Organizations (Rome Convention);
By June 15, 2021 – developing a draft bylaw on the calculation and compensation of damages for the loss of profit caused by IPR infringement;
By August 1, 2021 – introducing mechanisms to improve cooperation among IP protection authorities, including the Uzbek IPO, State Tax Committee, State Customs Committee, Antimonopoly Committee and Consumer Protection Agency;
By December 15, 2021 – developing a national IP strategy in cooperation with WIPO; and
By September 1, 2022 – developing an Intellectual Property Code; intellectual property is currently addressed in the Uzbek Civil Code.
By: Djakhangir Aripov and Gulandom Haydarova
For more information, please contact Djakhangir Aripov at our Uzbekistan office.
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