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Amendments to Trademark Laws

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Jul 27, 2022 (Newsletter Issue 10/22)
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IP Laws Amended and TM Opposition Period Introduced

On June 20, 2022, Kazakhstan adopted a set of amendments to various intellectual property laws introducing significant changes in the field of intellectual property in relation to trademarks, geographical indications, patents, and industrial designs. The amendments will come into force on 21 August 2022.

With respect to trademarks, the most important changes are the following:

- Introduction of an opposition procedure for trademarks
An opposition procedure for trademarks has been introduced. Pending trademark applications are published weekly on the Intellectual Property Office (IPO) website. Any interested person may file an opposition to the pending applications on absolute or relative grounds within one month from the date of publication of the application with the IPO.
- Time limit for formal examination extended
The time limit for formal examination of a trademark application has been extended from 10 working days to one month from the application filing date.
- Time limit for IPO to record changes to registered trademarks changed
The time limit for the IPO to record changes to registered trademarks has been shortened from one month to 10 working days. The deadline for the IPO to inform trademark owners of recorded changes has also been significantly shortened, from two months to five working days.
- No obstacle to registration if distinctive character acquired through use before filing date
Currently, trademarks that are not capable of distinguishing the goods or services of one person from those of another are denied protection on absolute grounds. The only way to avoid refusal of protection is to impose a disclaimer on a non-distinctive element if it does not occupy the dominant position in the mark. According to the amendments, such elements are not an obstacle to registration if the distinctive character was acquired through use before the filing date.

In addition, it is already possible in Kazakhstan to register geographically related signs and names as appellations of origin (AO). Soon, the protection of geographical indications (GIs) will also be possible.

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