Ukraine got to the list of countries that violate intellectual property rights and causing harm to the economic interests of the European Union.
Such information contains in the annual report of the European Commission on the protection and enforcement of intellectual property rights in third countries, published on the website of the European Commission.
As noted, in this list Ukraine is included in the country’s second priority, and extent of the violations and their consequences, second only to China, which occupies the first position.
“India, Indonesia, Russia, Turkey and Ukraine are still countries of the 2nd priority. In these countries revealed serious systemic problems in the sphere of protection and enforcement of intellectual property rights, causing significant harm to the business of the European Union. Compared to the previous report, these countries had progress, or have demonstrated only limited progress in addressing these concerns,” reads the preamble of the document.
It is noted that the priority countries are not necessarily the States with the most problematic as the protection of intellectual property rights (IP), but in these countries the violations allowed them to cause the most damage to the economic interests of the EU.
In Ukraine, as noted, continue to exist problems concerning the legal protection of IP, on the mechanisms of registration of trade marks, and concerning the transit of counterfeit and pirated products at the EU markets.
“Despite significant regulatory approximation, the obligations which Ukraine assumed in accordance with the Association Agreement with the EU, which entered into force in 2016, only limited progress has been made in the past two years. A positive step was the adoption of Law No. 2415 of the organization for collective management (Law of Ukraine “On the effective management of economic rights of rightholders in the sphere of copyright and (or) related rights” – ed.) in may 2018. Despite the fact that this law needs to be further supplemented to ensure compliance with international standards, its adoption demonstrates a sincere effort to reform in this sphere”, – stated in the document.
At the same time, it is reported that within two years the Supreme Rada has registered three draft laws which propose to introduce some patent restrictions or prohibit the protection of certain substances (esters, mixtures of polymorphic materials and metabolites) and new varieties of known medical products.
“Such exemptions will limit the incentives for innovation to search for more stable forms (medication), their dosage and prolong shelf life, enhance safety and reduce side effects. These bills do not meet international standards and the European patent Convention”, – the document says.
It is noted that the existing legal provisions still do not provide protection against unfair registration of products, are absent or ineffective legal mechanisms to appeal such trademark registration and protection of IP manufacturers of original products.
In addition, the current legislation of Ukraine in the sphere of protection of IP contains serious problems in the scope of the definition of cable retransmission and corresponding rates. As a result, national broadcasters continue to pay royalties to the authors and producers of audio products for its use, which is their legal duty according to the Ukrainian legislation in the sphere of copyright.
Another disadvantage is the requirement for companies to obtain permission to market the sale of the product in Ukraine within two years after obtaining such authorization anywhere in the world, which makes, in particular, pharmaceutical companies in advance to enter the market of Ukraine, even against their own business interests.
The report notes that there is inadequate control over entry into the market of the so-called “generics” – medicines that are similar to well-known brands, which are produced in Ukraine, often even before the stipulated regulatory time limits this production. It is noted that the State expert Committee is entrusted with the responsibility of monitoring compliance with such rules. In addition, information on providing the market with this kind of medical products not always available to the public, making it difficult to adequate control measures and protection of IP the original manufacturers.
Another serious problem, as noted by the European Commission – compliance with the “anti-piracy” legislation. According to the report EUIPO-OECD (OECD – Organisation for economic cooperation and development) from 2018, Ukraine remains a country of transit of counterfeit and pirated products in such sectors as food industry, watches, jewelry, toys, clothes, photographic and medical equipment. Some pirate sites that offer this?? products that are open in Ukraine, the number of such sites increases, due to the imperfection and weakness of the current legislation.
In the report the Commission refers to a survey of European businesses, which also points to the imperfection of customs procedures. In particular, there is no adequate capacity for the destruction of certain types of counterfeit goods or the means of production. However, even simplified customs procedures are time-consuming and costly.
At the same time, according to the document, the draft Customs code, which was registered in the Verkhovna Rada, would bring the border measures that Ukraine uses to protect intellectual property rights closer to EU standards.
“Dialogue in the sphere of protection of intellectual property rights, envisaged by the Association Agreement, is part of a broader cooperation between Ukraine and the EU in the context of the European neighbourhood policy. It provides an opportunity for both parties to exchange information on bilateral and multilateral issues in this area, national legislation and its application to determination of deficiencies and suggestions for improvement. Since the publication of the last report, there have been two such dialogue,” the document says.
The Commission also noted that the Twinning project (Twinning Project), funded by the EU, aims at providing assistance to Ukraine in implementation of the provisions of the deep and Comprehensive free trade area with the European Union and in the development of new zakonoproektu for the protection of intellectual property rights. The EU also funded technical assistance for the development in Ukraine of a system of geographical indicators. In the framework of this program, which will operate until 31 August 2020, has already prepared the corresponding bill.