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Amendments to Trademark Laws

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Mai 13, 2015 (Newsletter Issue 7/15)
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IP Law Amended

The Law of the Republic of Kazakhstan "On Trademarks, Service Marks and Appellations of Origin" has been amended and the following changes came into effect on April 20, 2015:

- It is no longer possible for several persons to be listed as co-applicants for one application and the requirement for applicants - natural persons to be registered as individual entrepreneurs was abolished;
- An applicant will have the right to file a request for assignment of a trademark application without executing and registering an assignment agreement;
- Issuance of a trademark certificate is cancelled. The information about trademark registration is published by the expert organization in the Official Bulletin and in the Internet resources. The fact of a trademark registration and of amendments to this registration is confirmed by the extract from the State Register of Trademarks.
- The timing of the trademarks registration has been reduced. The Law establishes the timeframes for all stages of the examination of the application for registration of a trademark, details the timing of the approval of preliminary and final expert opinions by the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Kazakhstan, the timing of the delivery of such opinions to the applicants.
- The list of absolute grounds for refusal in trademark registration has been changed. The registration formerly would have been refused if a trademark consisted exclusively of designations which are non-distinctive and constitute international unpatentable names of pharmaceuticals (e.g., amoxicillin, ampicillin). Such basis as direct associative connection with the goods or services for the designation of which the trademark is used has been excluded from the list of absolute grounds. Previously, the existence of those absolute grounds precluded the registration of practically any trademarks that could be associated with the applied goods and/or services.
- Disputes arising from trademark registration (or refusal thereof) and non-use cancellation of trademarks cannot be brought directly to the court. They will be considered by the Appeal Board of the Trademark Office first.

Source: Tagbergenova & Partners, Kazakhstan; Mikhailyuk, Sorokolat & Partners, Ukraine and Dentons, Kazakhstan