Tracking IP Trends

12 07 2017

Tracking IP trends and trying to guess the future is always tricky. Occasionally I follow the global IP news led by the idea ‘do not miss next big thing’. On the contrary, my current client workload adjusts my feelings and market forecast. No wonder you hear different opinions from IP practitioners.

The year 2016 gave us slight optimism for growth. IP driven start-ups requested legal advice on protection of their IP portfolio, IP assignment in favour of US-based assignees (co-investors). Business goes online and requires mobile apps development; the total number of IT/IP services grows.

At the same time, online IP infringements are also increasing, and some of them are difficult to stop. In this respect, we hope that the new Law “On State Support for Cinematography” will enable extra options for locating infringers and stopping online infringements.

We observe growth in the number of IP-related unfair competition cases considered by the Antimonopoly Committee. Applying to the AMCU is simpler and cost-effective alternative to dispute resolution.

The total number of IP disputes by local commercial courts is 680 cases only (compare it to 30 881 bankruptcy or 61 364 contract disputes). The officially reported total value of the IP disputes in these courts was about 80 million UAH in 2016. This figure looks misleading. The majority of disputes pertaining to TM or patent cancellation are ‘no value’ type; the actual value of the contested IP is left behind the scenes.

The key issues for 2017 and beyond:
(1) Institutional transformation. The Ministry of Economic Development and Trade will substitute the State IP Service in its role as patent and trademark office.
(2) Court reform. The High Court on IP Matters shall launch its functioning this year.
(3) Parallel import issue. The proposal to shift international principle of exhaustion of IP rights for TM for national principle is one of most controversial IP issues at the Parliament’s agenda.

Published: Ukrainian Law Firms. A Handbook for Foreign Clients, July 2017

Author: Vladyslav Podolyak