Intellectual property is a type of legitimate monopoly available to business entities.
Trademark is a designation, in the form of graphic icon, logotype or text, used to individualize a concrete product or service. A trademark allows a consumer to choose a brand, forms loyalty to manufacturer’s products and makes them easily recognizable in the market.
A trademark holds exclusive rights to protection. Oftentimes, protection of this intellectual property involves struggle against infringing products that are manufactured unlawfully and violate exclusive rights of the original rightholder.
Unconscientious manufacturers and vendors use trademarks that are not owned by them. Therewith, struggle against pirate goods via judicial procedures is not really efficient. Also, it requires huge expenses and lots of time. In Belarus, a special panel of the Supreme Court adjusts disputes involving infringement production.
Rightholders will find it viable to protect their exclusive rights using the Customs Register of Intellectual Property Objects (CRIPO) of the Republic of Belarus. The administrative procedure engages state customs bodies to fight against pirate goods.
Peculiarities of applying to the National Intellectual Property Center (NIPC)
You can apply via either of the two procedures:
- On your own, where an individual or a company is a resident of the Republic of Belarus.
- With a private attorney officially rendering application services. Resorting to a qualified patent body will secure correct filing of documents and shorter processing time when registering a trademark in Belarus.
Before submitting an application you should verify whether the object to be registered meets the definition of a trademark. Also, we recommend you make sure there are no grounds to refuse registration. You can run a search across registered and pending trademarks on your own or through the help of a specialist.
Running a search prior to filing an application will allow making prompt amendments and minimize refusal expenses.
Applications are normally reviewed within 12 to 18 months. An accelerated procedure will take 9 months.
CRIPO’s protection measures are available not only to trademark owners, but also to manufacturers importing their goods to the Republic of Belarus.
How do I register a trademark in CRIPO?
Via CRIPO you can protect:
- a particular object of copyright or neighboring rights
- a service mark
- a trademark
- an appellation of origin
Protection may be enjoyed by the original rightholder (author) and by a party that has concluded a license agreement with the author (allowing to use an object or an intellectual product).
In order to secure protection, your trademark will be added to the register. The rightholder shall file an application to a customs authority appending required documents and an official certificate confirming its title to the intellectual property.
The state body will examine the application for CRIPO registration within 30 calendar days. In some cases, a final decision will require information updating and the pendency time may be extended to 60 days.
Trademark protection period
The state body will define a protection period for the trademark. The period stated in the application by the title rightholder will also be considered.
According to the law, this period cannot exceed the protection period for the trademark. An applicant may apply for an extension, if necessary.
Please note. The state body examines a CRIPO application free of charge. Applicants need not pay a state duty.
You may read additional information about CRIPO on the website of the State Customs Committee of the Republic of Belarus.
How protection procedure is implemented?
Once an object is included in the CRIPO, the state body, if a violation is detected, will act pursuant to article 331 of the Customs Code of the Customs Union.
Legally, infringing goods cannot be further processed. Such goods will be arrested for 10 days. Where the rightholder has filed a motion, the arrest period will be prolonged to 20 days.
The rightholder shall file a petition within a prescribed period. After receiving the petition, the state body will draw up a protocol of administrative violation. Illicit goods will be confiscated or seized.
Where rightholder has not filed a petition and no violation has been detected, the goods will be moved further to their final destination.
Important. The holder of rights to intellectual property must reimburse the customs applicant for any expenses resulting from the detention of infringing goods. However, this rule only applies to groundless suspicions of law violation.
Rightholder must also cover the expenses on using the temporary storage warehouse where the goods are kept.
In order to cut down expenses on this item, we recommend concluding a contract to insure property responsibility for actual damage. The holder of rights to the object will be liable in that case.
Why add an intellectual property object to CRIPO?
Entering a copyright object into the customs register will warrant legal protection. The state body will act within the law and swiftly suppress any unlawful distribution of infringing goods in the territory of the Republic of Belarus.
Unlike judicial protection, actions of customs authorities suppressing such unlawful activities are found to be effective.
Despite the obvious advantage, there is another fine point: rightholder may face risks. This happens when a product is wrongly suspected to be infringing and is arrested. In this case, the owner of such product will suffer some losses. In turn, the rightholder will bear responsibility and will have to reimburse the losses. Where the rightholder engages an insurance agency, it will also be liable to reimburse for the losses.
Borius Consulting company renders services involving registration of trademarks in Belarus.
To obtain a close lawyer’s consultation, please call +375 29 7979737. You can also address your questions via e-mail: email@example.com.
Registration of a trademark in CRIPO
From 500 $