The Singapore Treaty on the law of trademarks comes into effect for Russia
Legal Update No. 115
With reference to our Legal Update No. 42 of 5 June 2009 regarding ratification by Russia of the Singapore Treaty on the law of trademarks, Goltsblat BLP law firm advises that the Singapore Treaty on the law of trademarks (the Treaty) came into effect for the Russian Federation on 18 December 2009.
The Treaty is designed to harmonise and simplify a number of procedural aspects of registration and use of trade marks, as well as registration of agreements on exercise of exclusive rights to trade marks.
The Treaty establishes, for instance, that the national Authority (Rospatent) is not entitled, when registering licensing agreements for use of trade marks, to demand that the licensing agreement itself or a translation of it be presented or the financial terms of the licensing agreement be disclosed. In addition, Rospatent does not have the right to demand information about the contents of the licensing agreement, other than that listed in the Instructions to the Singapore Treaty (registration number of the trade mark certificate, type of licence, territory and term of the licence, and a list of the goods and services to which it applies).
The Treaty also contains a substantive provision concerning early termination of legal protection of trade marks as a consequence of non-use. Under the Treaty, evidence can be submitted of due use of a trade mark by persons other than the right holders and its licensees on the basis of registered licensing agreements.
On conclusion of an agreement on alienation of the exclusive right to a trade mark, for the purpose of registering the change in right holder, the applicant can choose which one of the following documents to present: a copy of the agreement on alienation of the exclusive right, an extract from the agreement where information is provided on the change of right holder, or other documents in the formats envisaged by the Instructions to the Treaty.
When registering licensing agreements and agreements on alienation of exclusive rights to trade marks, Rospatent retains, however, the right to demand additional materials if it doubts the authenticity of the information provided.
The treaty also envisages a six-month period for submitting requests for reinstatement of terms that elapse during expert examination of an application, whereas article 1501 of the Civil Code of the Russian Federation sets a two-month period, so the intention is for relevant amendments to be made to the law.
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