Delegation of the European Union to Ukraine

EU disappointed by Ukraine's slow progress in reforming laws on intellectual property rights

Kyiv, 12/06/2017 - 15:33, UNIQUE ID: 170612_9
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On 8 June the EU and Ukraine met to discuss Ukraine's progress in reforming its intellectual property rights laws. Despite the fact that the meeting attracted a very high interest among stakeholders, the outcome was not encouraging.

18 months after the EU-Ukraine DCFTA came into force, most of the legislation needed to reform this sector, in line with Ukraine's commitments in the DCFTA, has still not been submitted to the Verkhovna Rada by the government. The draft laws were prepared by EU experts, working with the government, already in 2015 but are still being considered within the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade. The Ukrainian side promised that a pack of 4 laws (on Collective Management Organisations (CMOs); on the creation of the new IP office; on inventions and utility models; and on copyright and related rights) would be sent to the Rada in September and that these laws (not yet seen by the EU) will be based on the EU experts' drafts.

The current situation regarding collective management organisations is causing irreparable damage to the legitimate interests of thousands of local and international right holders. Current Ukrainian legislation does not include adequate provisions to ensure effective enforcement of IPR rights. Adoption of the laws which would implement Ukraine's commitments under the DCFTA would assist Ukraine to integrate better in the world trading system, to attract foreign investment and to prevent further major losses for right holders.

The one bright spot is the improvement in the fight against internet piracy. The recently adopted Law on Cinematography introduces better controls to prevent illegal content being shown on websites based in Ukraine, and the activities of the cyber-police to enforce the law in good cooperation with international colleagues is very encouraging. The EU can only hope that this good example can be followed in the other areas in this sector in future.

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