On 10 February 2017, the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan signed the order on enhancing governance in the areas of patent protection, standardization, metrology and accreditation (the Order) and announced the reorganization of the State Committee for Standardization, Metrology and Patents of the Republic of Azerbaijan (the Committee).

Under the Order, within one month the Committee must liquidate its existing subsidiary legal entities operating in the field of intellectual property and establish the Azerbaijan Patent and Trademark Centre (the Centre). The Centre will examine and register inventions, utility models, designs, trademarks and geographical indications, maintain the respective registers, and authorize patent attorneys, among other functions in these fields. The Centre will act as a public legal entity which is regulated by the new Law on Public Legal Entities. As such, the Centre will not be considered as a state body, but instead as an organization that carries out activities of nationwide and social significance as established by the state. The list of permitted activities of the Centre should be listed in its charter.

In its new capacity as founder of the Centre, the Committee shall approve the Centre's charter and organizational structure, determine charter capital and development directions, approve financial statements, and appoint and dismiss its chief.

At the moment, it is unclear whether any changes are expected in relation to trademark registration procedures or increases to state fees. We will keep you updated on further developments in this regard.