December 1, 2017
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UKRAINE: High Intellectual Property Court to Be Established
On September 29, 2017, the President of Ukraine signed Decree No. 299/2017 titled “On establishment of the High Intellectual Property Court.” This specialized court, with a seat in Kiev, will be created as a part of the Ukrainian court system in accordance with the norms of the Law of Ukraine “On the Judiciary and the Status of Judges” as a part of the ongoing judicial reform initiated in 2016. The jurisdiction of the IP court will cover IP-related disputes, in particular disputes involving the rights to inventions, utility models, industrial design, trademarks, trade names, objects of copyright, and related rights.
On September 30, 2017, the High Judicial Qualifications Commission of Ukraine announced a competition for filling 21 vacant positions for judges on the High Intellectual Property Court. Under the law, the position of a judge of such a court may be held not only by those who worked as judges, but also by patent and trademark attorneys and attorneys at law with work experience of not less than five years. The judges will be appointed solely on the basis of the results of the open competition.
For the effective realization of the right to due process in Ukraine, there is a need for both institutional changes and changes to procedural laws. For this reason, a Draft Law of Ukraine of March 23, 2017, No. 6232 “On amending the Commercial Procedure Code of Ukraine, Civil Procedure Code of Ukraine, the Code of Administrative Procedure of Ukraine and other legislative acts” was introduced in the Verkhovna Rada (the Ukrainian Parliament) by the President of Ukraine, and a majority of the members of Parliament voted for the final adoption of this bill on October 3, 2017. The president is expected to sign this bill shortly. Under this draft law, the court shall consider IP rights–related cases by applying the same procedural rules as those which apply to commercial disputes. At the same time, criminal cases will continue to be considered by the courts of general jurisdiction.
The IP community is anticipating that establishment of a specialized court will facilitate the protection of IP rights in the Ukraine and increase the attractiveness of the country for foreign investors.
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