INTA Sends High-Level Delegation to Russia, Promotes Exhaustion Principle

Published: May 15, 2019

Led by 2019 INTA President David Lossignol (Novartis Pharma AG, Switzerland), INTA sent a high-level delegation of Corporate Members and Associate members to Moscow, Russia, for talks April 23-26.

The Association took this opportunity to defend and promote its support of a national/regional exhaustion principle in line with INTA’s Board Resolution on exhaustion of trademark rights and parallel imports.

INTA met with Russian authorities, including the Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS), the Federal Customs Service, the Russian Patent and Trademark Office (RosPatent), and the Eurasian Economic Commission (EEC), as well as the Russian Brands Association (RusBrand).

Discussions explored issues of trademark enforcement, particularly with regard to the standing requirements for non-use cancellation, which are very strict in Russia. INTA defended the absence of standing requirements for cancellation in such cases.

In its meeting with the EEC regarding the Unified Customs Register of Intellectual Property, INTA stressed the need for harmonization among the five member states of the EEC, as well as the need for a territorial basis of legal protection for intellectual property (IP) in these countries, and the need to fight counterfeiting, notably at the external borders.

INTA members participating to the delegation included the following:

  • Vasiliy Gruzdev (JTI, Russia)
  • Natalia Guseva (John Deere Rus LLC, Russia)
  • Ilya Lipaev (Ferrero, Luxembourg)
  • David Lossignol (Novartis Pharma AG, Switzerland)
  • Giulia Spessotto (Ralph Lauren, Italy)
  • Anton Bankovskiy (CMS Legal, Russia, and Chair of INTA Anticounterfeiting-Eastern Europe Subcommittee)
  • Yulia Yarnykh, Maria Aronikova, and Alexander Christophoroff (Gowling WLG, Russia)
  • Hadrien Valembois (Policy Officer-Europe, INTA Europe Representative Office, Belgium)

In Brief: Recent Developments in Europe

  • Brexit: INTA, together with UK‒based associations, held a meeting on May 7 in London with the UK Ministry of Justice, Civil Judicial Cooperation – EU Exit/Europe Division, International and Rights Directorate. The meeting allowed an exchange on issues pertaining to pending litigations in UK courts, the EU Court of Justice, and EUIPO at the time of Brexit.
  • Designs: INTA provided input on the European Commission’s (EC’s) public Consultation on Design Protection in the EU on April 30, advocating for a robust system of design protection in the EU and calling for further harmonization to facilitate access to and enforcement of design rights across the EU member states. The contribution was based on the joint paper prepared with the European Communities Trade Mark Association (ECTA) and MARQUES (the European Association of Trademark Owners) and submitted to the EC and the EU Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) in July 2018.
  • Polish IP Courts: INTA provided comments on April 20 to the Polish Ministry of Justice on the new Polish IP law introducing specialized IP courts, in line with INTA’s Board Resolution supporting Specialized Trademark Judiciaries.
  • Talks with WIPO: INTA held a working session in Geneva, Switzerland, on April 11 with World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) Director General Francis Gurry and WIPO senior staff. Discussions focused on the state of the multilateral system, and anticipated accessions to key treaties administered by WIPO.

WIPO and INTA demonstrated their mutual commitment to embrace change, including new augmented reality tools, in the promotion and enforcement of intellectual property rights (IPR). INTA reiterated its support of WIPO’s efforts in the field of indigenous rights. INTA and WIPO have worked together on several workshops that aim to raise awareness of IP among indigenous peoples and local communities. To date, WIPO and INTA have collaborated on workshops in Canada, Kirgizstan, Laos, the Philippines, and Samoa.

The INTA delegation was comprised of INTA President David Lossignol (Novartis Pharma AG, Switzerland); INTA CEO Etienne Sanz de Acedo; INTA Chief Representative Officer, Europe, Hélène Nicora; INTA Representative, Africa, Middle East, and Intergovernmental Organizations Tat-Tienne Louembe; and INTA Representative, Geneva, Bruno Machado.

Looking Ahead: European Elections

The month of May is a less busy one for EU institutions in Brussels with the run-up towards the European elections from May 23 through 26 in all 28 (yes, including the UK!) EU member states. Elections will result in a new European Parliament, and a new EC for a five-year mandate (2019‒2024). More information on the elections will be provided in the next issue of the INTA Bulletin.

Next in Europe: Important Upcoming Dates to Keep in Mind

  • May 23‒26: Election of the Members of the European Parliament
  • End of May‒Early June: Customs seminar in the presence of Chinese Customs in Alicante, Spain, organized jointly by the EC (Directorate General Taxation and Customs Union) and the European Observatory on Infringements of Intellectual Property Rights
  • June 12‒13: EUIPO International Forum on IP Enforcement-Paris, France
  • June 18‒19: Europol IP Crime Conference-MÁlaga, Spain
  • July 2: INTA joint Policy Dialogue on “Reinforcing the Protection of IPRs Against Online Counterfeiting: Challenges and Remedies in the Digital Age” together with the Italian IP Office (UIBM) and the Italian anticounterfeiting association (INDICAM)-Milan, Italy
  • September 15‒17: INTA Trademark Administrators and Practitioners (TMAP) Meeting-Berlin, Germany
  • November 1: Start of the mandate of the new EC (2019‒2024)
  • December 1: Election of the new President of the European Council (27 EU member states)

INTA’s Europe Representative Office, based in Brussels, Belgium, represents the Association’s 1,800+ members across Europe (including those in EU and non-EU member states, and Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States). Working in collaboration with staff at INTA’s headquarters in New York City, the Europe Representative Office leads the Association’s policy, membership, marketing, and communications initiatives throughout the region. To learn more about INTA’s activities in Europe, please contact INTA Chief Europe Representative Officer Hélène Nicora at [email protected] and follow us on Twitter at @INTABrussels.

Although every effort has been made to verify the accuracy of items in the INTA Bulletin, readers are urged to check independently on matters of specific concern or interest.

© 2019 International Trademark Association