Intellectual property (IP) plays a strategic role in companies’ assets portfolios. It drives dealmaking activity like M&A, and shapes the innovation landscape. It is an eminent reality around the world that business is relying increasingly on investment in intangible assets. IP ensures a return on investments, and naturally IP rights owners seek protection. When a country becomes lucrative for the expansion of big multinationals, the role of its IP regulation grows, while the subsequent demand from the outside world anchors these commitments.
It is both exciting and challenging to observe the birth of the IP court system in Ukraine. Introduction of specialized courts brings hope both to IP lawyers and right holders that litigation on IP issues will turn from a nightmare into stories with happy endings. Still, aspirations are of little help in resisting statutory uncertainty, taking into account that new laws must be adopted or existing changed to implement IP courts. Though realizing the creativity of MPs and ability to turn a perfect engine into a bicycle, the enthusiasm of lawyers is much to the ground.
The first public-private partnership (PPP) projects started in Ukraine at the beginning of the 1990s. At that time the newly-established Ukrainian state felt a significant lack of special regulation in the PPP area and relations between the state and business were governed by general legislation: the Civil Code of Ukrainian Soviet Social Republic of 18 July 1963 No. 1540-VI, the Law of Ukraine On Property of 7 February 1991 No. 697-XII and other laws adopted by the state of Ukraine and the former USSR.
Basically, every significant investor aiming to invest in business in Ukraine thoroughly examines the national legal environment. More recently, with the development of Internet technologies, the separate attention should be paid inter alia to the law of intellectual property. Relevant case law shows many examples when foreign entrepreneurs face obstacles in the registration of domain names that correspond to trademarks. In particular, the domain name may be already taken and put up for sale, exceeding its actual price by several times.
Asters advised EBRD on USD 3 million loan to Ecosoft
Redcliffe Partners supported EBRD in launch of renewable energy generation plant
Asters — legal counsel to ED&F Man
Metinvest B.V. completed USD 2.3 billion debt restructuring
CMS advised on one of CEE’s largest ever restructurings
NBU decision on Financial Initiative bank’s insolvency declared illegal
Pechersk District Court arrested Ukrtelecom shares
OJSC Ostankino Dairy Combine bankruptcy
ECHR obliged Russia to pay EUR 3 million to relatives of Beslan victims
New automated system to control turnover of excisable tobacco and alcohol goods
Certification of Energy Performance of Buildings
Draft Law on electronic money transfer
Commercial accounting for public utilities
Model form of anti-corruption program for public procurement participants
Process to liquidate unprofitable mines improved
National Bank permitted withdrawal of dividends for 2016
Parliament allowed reorganization of medical institutions into companies
Parliament adopted draft law on electricity market
Railway-ferry service between Ukraine and Georgia
Ukraine’s M&A report released
21st Century Fox takes over Sky
Deal between MasterCard and VocaLink
Memorandum on possible cooperation between Naftogaz, Eustream and Snam
Project Urban Public Transport in Ukraine
Cabinet of Ministers signed memorandum with Bitfury, Blockchain Company
AMCU considers case against LLC Nova Poshta International
The American Chamber of Commerce in Ukraine conducted among its Member Companies a survey on the effectiveness of Ukrainian Railways activities in 2016. On the basis of the results, 54% of respondents believe that conditions in the railway freight transportation sphere worsened in 2016. In addition, 61% of respondents assess Ukrainian Railway measures in the fight against corruption as ineffective.
The evidence suggests that the protection of intellectual property rights is that very unique practice area that is less sensitive to crisis and is a benchmark of a country’s economic culture.
Reform of Ukrainian intellectual property rights may bring lots of changes for business community and IP professionals. Mariya Ortynska, director of IPStyle Patent Law Company is certain that IP lawyers will definitely have more professional challenges and new work with the coming legislative novelties. We met with her so as to take a wider look at the Ukrainian IP market and ongoing regulatory changes, their impact on IP rights protection and enforcement, as well as the international perception of Ukraine. After an intense conversation with her we came away persuaded that efforts on IP right protection are being sped up.
Pavlo Byelousov, Oleksandr Zablotsky
The European Union (EU), often defined as a supranational organization, has an increasingly complex and influential legal order. Its rules mostly deal with the European Single Market, but also spam to other areas such as justice and security, foreign policy and social welfare. Importantly, EU law also has increasing importance for EU neighbors, which often commit to follow the EU law under international agreements (e.g. association agreements) in exchange for increased access to the EU Single Market.
The High Court of England and Wales (the Court) by its recent judgment in Gerald Metals SA v Timis  EWHC 2327 (Ch) refused to grant injunctive relief on the basis that emergency arbitration procedure was available to the applicant. This approach, if further upheld, raises concerns that the ability of English courts to grant injunctions in support of arbitration might be severely restricted where the emergency arbitration procedure is available to the parties in accordance with arbitration rules.
Over the course of last month our team monitored legislative initiatives and changes that may be of particular interest. We asked experts to give us their hands-on comments. Particularly on our radar are the parliamentary initiatives on reorganizing healthcare institutions into state and municipal non-commercial enterprises, promoting alternative energy sources and introducing commercial accounting of utility services. The month was also rich in Government resolutions, such as the new procedure for the establishment and operation of independent supervisory boards in state companies and introduction of the drugs reimbursement mechanism. Of course, it is important to note novelties from the National Bank of Ukraine.
Subscribe to The Ukrainian Journal of Business Law right now and enjoy the most relevant issues on doing business in Ukraine on your device or in print.
All this for just USD 9.99 a month.