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Eurasian Integration in the Sphere of Intellectual Property



The Eurasian Integration in the IP field covers three main cooperation fora: the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), the Eurasian Patent Organization (EAPO) and the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU).

CIS

The Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) was the first integration association established in the Eurasian region; it was created by the Agreement establishing the Commonwealth of Independent States (Minsk, December 8, 1991). CIS goals include development of cooperation between member states in the areas of politics, economy, culture, education, healthcare, ecology, science, commerce, and other areas; as well as ensuring the global peace and security and equal rights for citizens of the member states.

Cooperation between the CIS member states in the sphere of IP is conducted within economic, scientific and cultural aspects of cooperation. The mechanism of cooperation includes specialized cooperation bodies and CIS governing bodies – the CIS Economic Council, the Commission on Economic Issues (under the Economic Council) and the CIS Heads of State Council.

CIS IP legal framework consists of wide array of international treaties and concept documents covering various fields of cooperation between member states including protection of copyright and related rights, protection of means of individualization, law enforcement and coordination between law enforcement agencies, commercialization and IP market development, professional training in the field of IP, etc.

The key document is the Agreement on Cooperation in the Area of Legal Protection of Intellectual Property and on Establishment of Intergovernmental Council on Legal Protection of Intellectual Property (Saint Petersburg, November 19, 2010). The Intergovernmental Council is the main body of CIS cooperation in the field of IP. Heads of national IP offices are usually appointed as authorized representatives of their countries in the Council. Mr. Grigory Ivliev, Director General of Rospatent, was appointed as the authorized representative for Russia in the Council by the Government directive dated October 29, 2015.

The Intergovernmental Council Agreement was amended by the Protocol signed on May 26, 2017 in Kazan; the Council field of activity was expanded with the matters of IP commercialization. A crucial line of activity of the Council is continuous inventory and review of legal framework for cooperation of CIS member states in the field of IP.

Another important work direction is the Project for Industrial Publication of the Regional Patent Information Product (CISPATENT), started in 2001. CISPATENT includes patent documentation databases of the Eurasian Patent Office and nine countries of the participating agencies of the project (Armenia, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Tajikistan, Russia, Uzbekistan), published on regular basis.

In order to align participants’ activities within the project, sessions of the Coordination Council take place every year. According to CISPATENT Agreement, Rospatent is appointed as the Project Coordinator and the Federal Institute of Industrial Property of Rospatent is appointed as the Project Operator.

The Implementation Plan for the First Stage (2021-2025) of the CIS 2030 Economic Development Strategy which includes a specialized section on IP, will determine the main direction for cooperation between the CIS member states in the field of IP in the future.

 

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EAPO

The Eurasian Patent Organization (EAPO) is an international regional organization established by the  Eurasian Patent Convention (Moscow, September 9, 1994). Currently the EAPO includes 8 member states: Azerbaijan, Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan.

Eurasian Patent Convention created the Eurasian patent system that allows individuals and legal entities to enjoy protection of their rights for inventions based on a unified Eurasian patent which is valid in all member states.

The EAPO governing bodies are the Administrative Council and the Eurasian Patent Office. Administrative Council is a representative body controlling the Organization activities. It consists of authorized representatives of the member states. Mr. Grigory Ivliev, Director General of Rospatent, was appointed as the authorized representative for Russia in the EAPO Administrative Council by the Government directive № 2203-р dated October 29, 2015.

The Eurasian Patent Office performs all administrative functions of the Organization and acts as its standing secretariat. The Office is headed by the President which is the Organization’s highest officer. The President of the EAPO is appointed by the Administrative Council for 6 years (renewable).

Following the decisions of the Administrative Council, the work is currently in progress to establish the Eurasian system of legal protection of industrial designs, providing the Office with authority to accept and examine applications for industrial designs. The Protocol on the Protection of Industrial Designs to the Eurasian Patent Convention was adopted at the Diplomatic Conference held in Nur-Sultan (Kazakhstan) on September 9, 2019 (on the day of the 25th anniversary of the signing of the Eurasian Patent Convention).

 

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EAEU

The Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU, Union) is an international organization established by the Treaty on the Eurasian Economic Union (Astana, May 29, 2014, effective since January 1, 2015). EAEU Member-States are the Republic of Armenia, the Republic of Belarus, the Republic of Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic and the Russian Federation.

The main objectives of the EAEU are stable development of the Member States’ economies aimed to improve the living standards of their population, creation of a single market for goods, services, capital and staff resources within the Union, comprehensive modernization, cooperation and increasing the competitiveness of the national economies in the global economy.

The EAEU administrative bodies include the Supreme Eurasian Economic Council (Heads of States), the Eurasian Intergovernmental Council (Heads of Governments), the Eurasian Economic Commission (EEC, the permanent regulatory authority of the EAEU), the EAEU Court. The governing bodies of the EEC are the EEC Board (consists of members of the Board – the Ministers of the EEC) and the EEC Council (Deputy Heads of Governments).

Issues of intellectual property (IP) in the EAEU are nowadays regulated by the following international treaties:

1. The Treaty on the Eurasian Economic Union (Astana, May 29, 2014) - the basic document of the EAEU. IP issues are regulated under Section XXIII of the Treaty and Appendix No. 26 thereto.

The EAEU Treaty defines a list of international treaties serving as a legal framework for cooperation in the field of IP (Article 90), and provisions regarding objects of copyright and related rights, trademarks and service marks, geographical indications and appellations of origin, utility models, industrial designs, breeders’ rights, topographies of integrated circuits, trade secrets (know-how). The EAEU Treaty also provides for the adoption of a number of additional international treaties on certain aspects of IP.

2. Agreement on Coordinated Actions in Protection of Intellectual Property Assets (Grodno, September 8, 2015) regulates law enforcement authorities cooperation by harmonizing and improving national legislation, exchanging information and experience, taking joint arrangements.

3. Treaty on the Customs Code of the EAEU (Moscow, April 11, 2017) regulates the application of customs measures concerning the IP rights enforcement (Article 52). It also includes provisions concerning the Unified Customs Register of IP objects of the Union member states.

4. The Agreement on Copyright and Associated Rights Collective Management Procedure (Moscow, December 11, 2017) establishes the uniform requirements for the CMO practices in the Union countries.

The Advisory Committee for Intellectual Property was establishedby Decision No.172 of the EEC Board dated September 25, 2012. The Committee is an advisory body of the EEC and drafts initiatives concerning IP rights protection and enforcement for the EEC Board. Head of RospatentGrigoryIvliev is a member of the Committee (EEC Board Decision №119 dated October 20, 2015).

Currently the Eurasian integration agenda in the field of IP includes the following lines of activity:

1. Creating a system of registration of trademarks, service marks and appellations of origin of the EAEU.

This initiative is supposed to provide the option to protect the rights for trademarks and appellations of origin in the entire customs territory of the EAEU, based on application filed at any of the national patent offices. Such system is being created on the basis of separate international agreement between the Union member states.

2. Developing the procedure of trademark (Union trademark) rights exhaustion.

The EAEU member states follow the regional principle of trademark rights exhaustion. Following the initiative of concerned authorities the procedure of its application is being improved, based on needs of the Union member states economies.

3. Regulatory work in the field of IP concerning EAEU trade agreements.

By existing practice trade agreements between the EAEU and its member states with third parties include a chapter on IP. Rospatent specialists take active part in the IP subgroup sessions during rounds of trade negotiations as well as in consultations between the sessions.

On December 6, 2018, the Declaration on further development of integration process within the EAEU was signed during the session of the Supreme Eurasian Economic Council. This document will become a basis for the next stage of integration.

 

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