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Design patent abuse in Ukraine: importers call for legislative reform

In recent years it has become common in Ukraine to register design patents for everyday objects like toothpicks, batteries and hinges. This is a way of levying royalties on imports since design patents are recorded in the customs register of IP rights and retailers must then pay between US$ 100 and 500 per container if they want to import them. While some importers refuse to pay the royalties and start court proceedings to invalidate the design patents, others just pay up because it's cheaper.

In 2012 the Danish company JYSK and Fozzy Group (a group of companies that owns and manages retail stores in Ukraine) applied to invalidate a design patent for coat hangers. Though they won in 2013, it was only a month later that the Ukrainian IPO registered the equivalent design patent again.

This is a common practice because the Ukrainian IPO doesn't examine design patent applications for novelty. To resolve the issue, retailers are pressing for legislative reforms that include examination of applications and a ban on reregistering designs.

Source: "Registering Design Patents For Everyday Objects Still Common In Ukraine" by Olga Goncharova (Petosevic newsletter, here). Petosevic is a MARQUES member.

Posted by: Blog Administrator @ 18.59
Tags: Ukraine, design patents,
Perm-A-Link: https://www.marques.org/blogs/class99?XID=BHA646

MARQUES does not guarantee the accuracy of the information in this blog. The views are those of the individual contributors and do not necessarily reflect those of MARQUES. Seek professional advice before action on any information included here.

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