TRADEMARKS FILING AND PROSECUTION IN BELARUS
A trademark is a distinctive sign or indicator used by an individual, business organization, or other legal entity to help consumers indentify that its products or services with which the trademark appears originate from a unique source, and to help distinguish its products or services from those of other entities.
Trademark in Belarus may be designated by the following symbols:
- ® (for a registered trademark)
- ™ (for an unregistered trademark)
A trademark is typically a name, word, phrase, logo, symbol, design, image, or a combination of these elements. There is also a range of non-conventional trademarks comprising marks which do not fall into these standards categories, such as those based on colour, smell, or sound.
A trademark provides protection to the owner of the mark by ensuring the exclusive right to use it to identify goods or services, or to authorize another to use it in return for payment. Trademark protection also hinders the efforts of unfair competitors, such as counterfeiters, to use similar distinctive signs to market inferior or different products or services.
The owner of the registered trademark may initiate legal proceedings for trademark infringement to prevent unauthorized use of that trademark.
|Relevant office||National center of Intellectual Property (NCIP)|
|Nice classification||Yes (11th edition)|
|Multi class system||Yes|
|Documents requires for filing a trademark application||Simply signed Power of Attorney|
|Prosecution process||Filing Preliminary expert examination and expert examination Registration renewal|
|Registration term||10 years from the date of filing|
|Renewal term||10 years|
Trademark searches in Belarus
It is advisable to conduct a trademark search prior to filing a trademark application to ascertain the availability of trademarks, existence of prior identical/similar marks on the register etc., so as to avoid any objection and opposition with respect to the mark.
A trademark search in Belarus can be conducted for word marks, device marks, numeral and labels. An official search can be conducted at the records of the National center of Intellectual Property (NCIP), an online search database is provide on the official website of the registry. There are two options available on the search database, first is “from the beginning of the field”- search for a match to the first words of the record field and “phrase”-search for a keyword or combination of words.
Trademark word search edition of Belarus follows the Nice Classification and trademark applications can be filed for goods in classes 1-34 and services in classes 35-45.
It is advisable to conduct comprehensive trademark clearance search in Belarus to ascertain availability of the proposed mark and also to overcome any objection and opposition with respect to mark later on.
Along with trademark search, it is also advisable to do a comprehensive company search and domain search of the proposed trademark in Belarus. It is advisable to conduct a comprehensive search for a figuration trademark. The device marks include individual marks such as stylized letters, numerals, shapes, plants, celestial bodies, living creatures etc. or combination of marks containing device marks. A device mark search in Belarus can be conducted amongst the marks filed and registered as per the Vienna code classification.
Filing trademark application in Belarus
A person may file multi class or single class trademark applications in Belarus.
Trademark application can be filed in the following categories:
- Ordinary Applications
- Convention application (claiming priority from a convention country)
Ordinary application in Belarus:
Ordinary trademark applications filed Belarus are applications without claiming any priority. Ordinary application in Belarus can be filed directly by the residents or through the patent attorney registered with the center but the foreign applicants must be represented by the attorney in Belarus. Multi class trademark applications can be filed in Belarus. However, the trademarks act also lays down provisions regarding the filing of priority applications, wherein priority of the mark can be claimed in the said mark filed in a convention country.
Priority trademark applications in Belarus/Convention trademark application in Belarus:
A priority trademark application may be filed in Belarus. A priority trademark application should be filed in Belarus within 6 months after the date on which the application was made in the convention country.
The Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property, signed in Paris, France, on March 20, 1883, established a Union for the protection of industrial property. It offers national treatment to the applicant residing in the member country of the union, in other words. National treatment is a very important concept and is essential for successfully achieving the fundamental aim of the Paris Convention. The idea is to provide equal treatment to applications from member countries, in a given member country and not to differentiate between the nationals of member countries for the purpose of grant, and protection of industrial property. Priority application can be filed in Belarus within six months of after the date on which the application was made in the Convention Countries.
Trademark classes for goods and services
Belarus follows the nice classification of classes. National center of Intellectual Property (NCIP) uses the nice classification of classes that groups together similar goods or services into 45 different classes. Classes 1 to 34 are assigned for the goods and classes 35 to 45 are assigned for the services. Each class contains well defines list of terms and cover all the goods and services.
Trademark examination in Belarus
Once application for the registration is submitted it is examined to check whether it complies with all the legal requirements of registrations. The application is examined on the basis of the absolute and relative grounds.
The application for registration goes through the expert examination which consist of the preliminary expert examination and examination which is carried out in accordance with the present law and rules established by the council of ministers of Republic of Belarus.
Preliminary expert examination
Time for conducting preliminary expert examination is 2 months from the filing date with the patent body. In this stage the necessary documents which needed to be submitted are accessed and also the payment of the patent duty shall be checked. In this stage the applicant is proposed to make necessary corrections, changes and amendments within three months from the date of the notification. The said period of making necessary changes, corrections or amendments can be extended by three months on the request of the applicant before the expiration of the time limit.
When the application for registration is accepted for consideration, the date of filing application and also conventional and exhibition priority shall be established.
Expert examination of the requested sign will be conducted after the end of the preliminary expert examination. In this stage the priority of the trademark shall be established if it is not established at the preliminary expert examination, and the requested sign will be checked according to the relative and absolute grounds. If the submitted documents do not conform with requirements, the patent body will notify the applicant regarding the same propose to submit the correct documents within three months from the date of the notification. The said period can be extended by twelve months upon the request made by the applicant before the expiration of time period.
When the applicant is not satisfied with the decision of the expert examination, he has right to submit petition within three months from the receipt of decision to the patent body for conducting an expert re-examination.
An expert re-examination can be conducted within two months from date of receipt of the petition from the applicant.
Trademark opposition in Belarus
There is no procedure for official consideration of oppositions throughout the process of application and registration in Belarus.
Trademark registration in Belarus
The application shall proceed to registration where there is no opposition or where the opposition was filed and was decided in favor of the applicant. The mark is registered for a period of 10 years from date of application and the registration certificate is issued.