How Ukraine is to handle Intellectual Property Rights in its Customs procedure

Andrii Butin

Op-ed No. 7/2020

Protection of intellectual property right s (IPR) is one of the most pressing issues in the Ukrainian economy, which significantly influences a country's relations with its international partners.

The Association Agreement with the EU aims to strengthen the IPR system, in particular, to improve IPR enforcement when moving goods across borders. Stronger IPR protection, in turn, requires the introduction of an international or national principle of the ‘exhaustion’ of IPRs upon the import of goods. However, the Association Agreement does not define which principle to choose. According to Art. 160, the Parties are entitled to establish their IPR regime, aligned on the provisions of the TRIPS Agreement. Thus, Ukraine may, at its discretion, decide this issue. And it will not be easy. Until October 2019, the legislation did not clearly define which principle is applied in Ukraine.

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