26 Apr 2022 | IP-Update

Intellectual property updates in light of the ongoing war in Ukraine

For more than two months now, a fierce war has evolved between Russia and Ukraine. We observe the developments in Ukraine with great concern, and sincerely hope that the Russian aggression can be stopped as soon as possible. 

It may seem inappropriate to consider the effects of war on intellectual property developments, in light of ongoing reports about crimes committed in the Ukraine, and in light of devastating news and pictures that reach us. Still, certain effects on IP exist, and we believe that providing a brief summary of these on this site is appropriate. 

The International Trademark Association (INTA) has summarized some of the effects the war had on intellectual property practice (https://www.inta.org/resources/the-status-of-intellectual-property-in-russia-and-ukraine/; updated April 8, 2022). Some excerpts from the information conveyed by INTA: 

Ukraine

  • “The Ukrainian IP Office (Ukrpatent) continues to work. The Patent Board of Appeals has suspended operations.”
  • “It is not currently possible to send or receive original hard copy (paper) documents to / from Ukrpatent. The online filing system remains in operational and official fees can still be paid to Ukrpatent”
  • “The Ukrainian Parliament passed a law ‘On Protection of Interests of Intellectual Property in Martial Law’ (Law No 7228) on April 1, 2022. According to the new law, the duration of terms related to the protection of IP rights, as well as deadlines for procedures for acquiring these rights, are suspended. The law allows authorized persons to submit documents within 90 days of the abolition of martial law, without paying a fee for extension, or restoration of the relevant deadlines. Martial law was declared in Ukraine on February 4, 2022, following the issue of Decree 64/2022, for a period of 30 days. On March 26, 2022, the Ukrainian Parliament voted to extend martial law for a further 30 days. It is expected to be extended again before the end of April 2022”

Russia

  • “The Russian IP Office (Rospatent) and the Eurasian Patent Office are operating as usual and have not announced any unusual extensions or reinstatements”
  • “Russia has issued new legislation regarding changes to its patent laws but has yet to officially revise its law regarding the treatment of trademarks. The recent ruling in the Peppa Pig case, in which a Russian court refused to enforce Peppa Pig’s rights in Russia due to the unfriendly actions of the UK against Russia, there is a de facto shift in treatment of trademarks via the courts and a likely mirror Rospatent’s policy based on recent filings for similar marks to famous marks from ‘unfriendly countries’“

European Union

  • “The European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) has halted all cooperation actions with Rospatent, and the Eurasian Patent Office (EAPO)”
  • “The EUIPO pledged support to Ukrainian users and issued a one-month extension of time limits (which began on February 24, 2022) in proceedings before the office for all parties that have a residence or a registered office in Ukraine”

United States

  • “On March 4, 2022, the USPTO announced that it will no longer engage with officials from either Rospatent or the Eurasian Patent Office”
  • “Effective March 11, 2022, the USPTO will no longer grant requests to participate in the Global Patent Prosecution Highway (GPPH) when such requests are based on work performed by Rospatent as an Office of Earlier Examination under the GPPH“
  • “The USPTO also warns that applicants filing international applications under the Patent Cooperation Treaty should be aware that selecting Rospatent as an International Searching Authority or International Preliminary Examining Authority, may not result in the successful processing of international applications under PCT, with relation to possible problems with the transmittal of fees through financial institutions“

Author: Fritz Jetzek