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Intellectual property

Legal Framework for Intellectual Property Protection

 

The legal framework for intellectual property (IP) protection in the Kyrgyz Republic includes national legislation and international treaties to which the Kyrgyz Republic is a party. 

 

The primary legislation regulating IP comprises the Civil Code of the Kyrgyz Republic[1], the Patent Law[2], the Law of the Kyrgyz Republic “On Trademarks, Service Marks and Appellations of Origin”[3], Law of the Kyrgyz Republic “On Copyright and Neighbouring  Rights”[4], Law of the Kyrgyz Republic “On Legal Protection of Computer and Data Base Software”[5], other laws and sub-laws.

 

The Kyrgyz Republic is a party to international treaties on intellectual property. The principal treaties are: the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property, the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works, the Patent Cooperation Agreement, and the Madrid Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Marks and the Protocol relating to that Agreement. In addition, since December 1998 the Kyrgyz Republic has been a member of the World Trade Organization (WTO). The requirements of the WTO Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights served as the basis for the national intellectual property legislation.   

 

Industrial Property

 

Legal protection of industrial property (inventions, utility models, industrial designs, brand names, trademarks, service marks and appellations of origin) is provided on the basis of registration. 

 

Right to an invention, utility model, and industrial design is protected by a patent that proves priority, authorship, and exclusive right of the patent holder to the given object of industrial property. Upon registration of a trademark, service mark, or appellation of origin   a certificate is issued to prove the trade or service mark owner’s exclusive right to use and dispose of the mark, or owner’s right to use the registered appellation.

 

The public agency authorized to register these objects in the Kyrgyz Republic is the State Service of Intellectual Property and Innovation under the Government of the Kyrgyz Republic (Kyrgyzpatent).[6]

 

Inventions, Utility Models, and Industrial Designs

 

An invention is subject to protection when it is new, has an inventive level, and is industrially applicable. An invention patent is valid for 20 years from the date of submission of respective application to Kyrgyzpatent. A patent to a pharmaceutical invention may be extended upon request of its holder, but for not more than 5 years.

 

A utility model is subject to protection if it is new and industrially applicable. A patent to a utility model is valid for 5 years from the date of respective application to Kyrgyzpatent, and may be extended upon request of the patent holder, but for no more than 3 years. 

 

An industrial design is subject to protection if it is new and original. A patent to an industrial prototype is valid for 10 years from the date of respective application to Kyrgyzpatent, and may be extended upon request of the patent holder, but for no more than 5 years.   

 

Trademarks, Service Marks, and Appellations of Origin

 

A trademark or service mark is a designation which identifies goods or services of particular individuals or legal entities from those of others. A trademark may be designated by verbal, visual, volumetric or other signs or their combination[7]. A person applying to Kyrgyzpatent for a trademark can be previously not using such trademark for the goods and services specified in the application. Kyrgyz law does not require the applicants to confirm the prior use or intent to use the trademark when filing an application for registration.


The goods and services are classified according to the tenth edition of the International Classification of Goods and Services approved by the Nice Agreement Concerning the International Classification of Goods and Services for the Purposes of the Registration of Marks.

 

A registered trademark is confirmed by a certificate. The period of validity of a registered trademark is 10 years from the date of filing with possibility of renewal for another 10 years at the trademark holder’s request filed within the last year of its validity.


An appellation of origin means the geographical name of a region or locality, or country, used to designate a product originating in that region, locality, or country, and the quality or characteristics of which are essentially or exclusively due to the particular geographical environment comprising inherent natural and human factors thereof. A registered appellation of origin is confirmed by a certificate. The period of validity of the certificate is 10 years and is renewable for another 10 years at the request filed before its expiration.

 

Copyright

 

Kyrgyz law protects works of science, literature, and art (copyright), as well as phonograms, performances, broadcasts by broadcasting and cable casting organizations (neighbouring  rights). Protection is provided without registration of respective works or any other formalities. Copyright is valid for the life of the author and 50 years after their  death.

 

Copyright covers software and data bases, both released and not released, represented in objective form, regardless of their tangible medium, purpose, and value. Legal protection applies to any type of software in any language and in any form, including source code and object code. 

 

Authors may protect their moral rights to an unpublished work and right holders may protect their exclusive proprietary rights to a work at any time during the period of copyright protection by registering them in Kyrgyzpatent’s official registries which is confirmed by a certificate.

 

Representation

Foreign persons or their patent attorneys handle cases related to IP protection through patent attorneys registered with Kyrgyzpatent[8]. As of today, there are 17 certified patent attorneys operating in Kyrgyzstan [9]. Residents of the countries which signed a bilateral agreement with the Kyrgyz Republic establishing mutual simplified procedures for IP rights can handle the cases related to obtaining a patent, registering a trademark and other activities independently or through their national patent attorneys unregistered in the Kyrgyz Republic. Under such agreements, individuals and legal entities of a foreign state enjoy in the territory of the Kyrgyz Republic the same rights and preferences as are currently provided to Kyrgyz individuals and legal entities.

 

The Kyrgyz Republic has signed bilateral agreements on cooperation in the field  of intellectual property[10] with the following countries:

 

-        the Russian Federation (the Agreement between the Government of the Kyrgyz Republic and the Government of the Russian Federation on cooperation in the field of protection of industrial property effective from October 13, 1995 and the Agreement on mutual protection of intellectual property results used and received as a result of bilateral military technical cooperation effective from February 2, 2006);

 

-        the Republic of Uzbekistan (the Agreement between the Government of the Kyrgyz Republic and the Government of the Republic of Uzbekistan on cooperation in the field of protection of industrial property effective from December 24, 1996);

 

-        the Republic of Kazakhstan (the Agreement between the Government of the Kyrgyz Republic and the Government of the Republic of Kazakhstan on cooperation in the field of protection of industrial property effective from April 8, 1997);

 

-        the Azerbaijan Republic (the Agreement between the Government of the Kyrgyz Republic and the Government of the Azerbaijan Republic on cooperation in the field of protection of industrial property effective from August 27, 1997);

 

-        the Republic of Armenia (the Agreement between the Government of the Kyrgyz Republic and the Government of the Republic of Armenia on cooperation in the field of protection of industrial property effective from June 18, 1998);

 

-        the Turkish Republic (the Agreement between the Government of the Kyrgyz Republic and the Government of the Turkish Republic on cooperation in the field of protection of intellectual property effective from November 13, 1998);

 

-        the People’s Republic of China (the Agreement between the Government of the Kyrgyz Republic and the Government of the People’s Republic of China on cooperation in the field of protection of intellectual property effective from November 8, 2006);

 

-        the Republic of Belarus (the Agreement between the Government of the Kyrgyz Republic and the Government of the Republic of Belarus on cooperation in the field of protection of industrial property effective from September 22, 2007).

 

Protection of Intellectual Property Rights

 

Kyrgyz customs authorities ensure protection of copyright and neighboring rights, trademarks and appellations of origin. For this purpose, at the request of right holders or their representatives, IP rights are entered in the register of protected intellectual property rights for up to two years upon payment of an appropriate fee. When the customs clearance of the goods bearing intellectual property reveals any signs of counterfeit, these goods shall be kept in temporary storage, and the release of such goods shall be suspended for 10 days with the possibility of renewal for the same period. During this period, the right holder or his representative shall submit to the customs authorities the documents confirming the start of litigation to restore legal rights and interests in respect of suspended goods.


A holder of the IP right may apply to the state antimonopoly authority for the suppression of unfair competition. A decision (order) of this authority shall be binding throughout the territory of the Kyrgyz Republic in full and within specified time. Those who disagree with the decision (order) of state antimonopoly authority may appeal it to the court.[11]


Kyrgyz law establishes civil, administrative, and criminal liability for violation of intellectual property rights. 

 

The Code of Administrative Liability imposes administrative fines as punishment for intellectual property violations. The court is the competent authority which reviews administrative violations in this area.

 

Criminal liability for violation of intellectual property rights is imposed  by the Criminal Code of the Kyrgyz Republic. Thus, the violation of intellectual property rights is punishable by sanctions up to imprisonment.

 

According to the general rule, intellectual property rights are  protected by  judicial procedure.  These  disputes fall within the jurisdiction  of state courts.

 

[1] Civil Code of the Kyrgyz Republic dated 8 May 1996 No 15 (with the latest amendments as of July 23, 2016 No. 134);

[2] Kyrgyz Patent Law dated 14 January 1998 No. 8 (with the latest amendments as of April 10, 2015, No. 76);

[3] The Law of the Kyrgyz Republic “On Trademarks, Service Marks and Appellations of Origin” dated January 14, 1998 No. 7 (with the latest amendments as of February 6, 2014, No.28);

[4] The Law of the Kyrgyz Republic “On Copyright and Neighbouring  Rights” dated January 14, 1998 No.6 (with the latest amendments as of January 21, 2014, No.14);

[5] The Law of the Kyrgyz Republic “On Legal Protection of Computer and Data Base Software” dated March 30, 1998 No.28 (with the latest amendments as of December 8, 2006, No.205);

[6] Official website of Kyrgyzpatent: http://www.kyrgyzpatent.kg

 

[7] Article 2, part 3 of the Law "On Trademarks, Service Marks and Appellations of Origin" dated  January 14, 1998 No.7 (with the latest amendments as of February 6, 2014, No.28);

[8] Article 6 part 3 of the Law of the Kyrgyz Republic “On Trademarks, Service Marks and Appellations of Origin” of January 14, 1998 (with the latest amendments as of February 6, 2014, No.28)..

[9] Based on information found on the official website of Kyrgyzpatent:  http://patent.kg/index.php/ru/attorneys.html

[10] Based on information found on the official website of Kyrgyzpatent:  http://patent.kg/index.php/ru/legislation/int-agreements/int-govement.html

[11] Article 20 of the KR Law on Competition.dated July 22, 2011 No.116 (with the latest amendments as of  July 15, 2016, No.118)