The reform of intellectual property protection in Ukraine is moving forward more slowly than expected. Unlike transactions, reform has no strict deadline.
The incumbent Soviet-style IP authority needs to be replaced by a modernized patent office. Enlisting foreign assistance and expert help is probably the best way to not just rebuild the outdated, inefficient system but to create a modern and effective new one.
The good news is that selection to the Specialized IP Court is on its way, and this process should hopefully be completed by the end of 2019. It is strongly supported by the business community and legal professionals. But what does this mean in practice? It should shorten the period of consideration of IP-related cases and improve the quality of subsequent decisions. Unified court practice would ensure predictability in IP rights protection.
My brief poll of IP lawyers revealed that recent cases have become more sophisticated. IP practitioners should think strategically, bearing in mind the industry trends of their clients. At the same time, both clients and legal counsels are being disrupted by the rapid development of new technologies, digital shift and necessity to think a few steps ahead. All in all, protection and reform of intellectual property rights remain as topical as ever.