New amendments to Kazakhstan’s intellectual property laws came into force on 3 July 2018. The main changes concerning trademarks are following:
1. Trademark registration process
The process of trademark registration is now simplified and shortened. The examination proceedings will take about 7 months, instead of 9 months as previously. The whole registration procedure will take about one year. A copy of the power of attorney is sufficient when filing the application.
2. Publication of trademark applications
The trademark applications will be published. This will make monitoring and filing preliminary oppositions easier.
3. Requirements for letters of consent
The law now provides requirements for letters of consent; they must be printed on an official letterhead, signed and sealed with a company stamp.
Recordals (licenses, assignments) should be considered within 10 working days, instead of 40 days as previously. In case the term of a license agreement is not indicated in the agreement, it is considered to be valid for five years.
5. Cancellation actions due to non-use
Cancellation actions due to non-use are now considered by the Court, instead of the Board of Appeals as previously. The process of cancellation will be more expensive, and could take more time.
6. Parallel import and counterfeits
Actions concerning parallel import should be filed with the Court; the Customs are no longer responsible for parallel import cases. In addition, the law now defines the term “counterfeit goods” as “any goods, and their packaging, that bear a trademark or a confusingly similar mark without the trademark owner consent”. Counterfeit goods, as well as any equipment or materials used for manufacturing such goods, are to be destroyed at the infringer’s expense.
The objective of the amendments is to modernize the existing legislation, and to simplify the trademark registration process.
For further information, please contact our Trademark Attorney Mrs Annikki Hämäläinen.