Central and Eastern Europe
The IP systems of 8 countries (Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Bulgaria, Romania, Belarus and Ukraine) in central and Eastern Europe have met the requirements of Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPs). Of these 8 countries, Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Bulgaria and Romania have joined the European Union.
Polish police offices and customs provide IP law enforcement services. Poland is also active in border patrol. The General Customs Administration has set up an IP department and carries out joint inspection together with neighboring countries every 3 months. Customs officers will size infringing products out of their own initiative or on application of right owners.
The Czech Republic has a combined system of IP protection, covering customs patrol, consumer protection, criminal monitoring and civil actions.
Hungary customs provides the most effective IP law enforcement action. All special laws of IP offer measures of customs border relief.
Bulgaria police offices and customs also provide IP law enforcement services.
Romania customs measures are relatively effective. The customs protects all IP products that have been recorded. Owners of IP rights must initiate civil or criminal actions after filling for customs recordal. The customs could destroy the seized goods when all conditions are met.
Belarus, Russia and Kazakhstan have forged a tariff alliance and adopt a special IP recordal system.
In terms of legislature, Singapore is one of the ASEAN countries that has formulated and enforced patent law, trademark law and copyright law. Philippines has made comprehensive IP law, while some other countries of ASEAN incorporate IP law into the civil code. Myanmar does not have trademark law and is now working together with WIPO to introduce new trademark law into the land.
In terms of legislative features, Singapore only protects inventions but not utility models, while design patents are protected by a separate law. Philippines and Vietnam integrate the patent protection rules into a unified IP code which protects invention, utility models and designs. Indonesian and Malaysian patent laws protect only invention patents and utility model patents, with design patents protected by a separate law. Cambodian and Laotian patent laws protect invention patents, utility model patents and design patents. Brunei did not have independent patent registration system, but patents granted in UK, Malasia and Singapore could be extended into the country.
Singapore patent law was first released in 1994, entered into force on May 23, 1995, and was revised in 2002, 2005, 2008 and 2012, respectively. On February 11, 2014, amendments were made again to the patent law of Singapore. On April 1, 2014, the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore corporated with WIPO Arbitration Center to work out new solutions for the patent disputes it accepted.
In Malaysia, a patentee is entitled to file a lawsuit against others’ ongoing infringement acts or infringing acts that might be happening, which is also dubbed as immediate infringement.
Patent issues in Thailand are handled by a patent committee, which is chaired by Vice Minister of Commerce and has no more than 12 members. The committee members chosen from scientific, engineering and industrial fields are appointed by the Cabinet.
Vietnamese courts, bureau of Investigation, market management office, customs office, the police office and people's committees are all entrusted with the responsibilities of dealing with intellectual property infringement.
On March 12, 2014, the Russian President signed the Federal Law No. 35, which made a number of major changes to the fourth part of "Civil Code of the Russian Federation". It applies to various IPR rights such as patent rights, utility models, industrial designs, know-hows, trademarks, licensing and various types of infringement liabilities within the territory of the Russian Federation.
As the administrative authority on intellectual property rights in Russia, Intellectual Property Office of the Russian Federation is responsible for the examination of patent applications and licensing, transfer and pledge contract registration of intellectual property objects. Its subordinate patent dispute committee is also responsible for administrative reconsiderations concerning IPR disputes. After the reshuffle in 2004, the Federal Intellectual Property, Patent and Trademark Office includes four divisions: the Division of Financial Management, Division of International Cooperation and Information security, Division of intellectual property legal protection, Division of inspection and oversight on the use of mental achievements. There are also three other subsidiary agencies: Federal industrial property Institute, Patent dispute Committee and Russian State IP Academy.
The Russian Federation Ministry of Internal Affairs (MIA) is one of the powerful ministries of Russian government department. It’s the equivalent of China's Ministry of Public Security, whose main responsibilities are to safeguard Russia's domestic security. MIA set up a special department to fight against intellectual property crimes in 1999, and the internal affairs departments of each federal member also set up similar organizations. In recent years, the MIA has organized many enforcement actions against counterfeiting, piracy and other IPR infringements in the market.
Since the 1990s, India began to make major revisions on its intellectual property law. To meet international standards, India in traduced patent protection articles for computer software and pharmaceutical products in the 2005 revision of the patent law, which strongly stimulated and attracted domestic and foreign investors in India. India adheres to the principle of "to protect when needed" in its protection of intellectual properties. It regards intellectual property system as a policy tool which is used according to its practical needs. India also attaches importance to the basic role of other legal systems related to intellectual property. For example, India showed its emphasis on information industry by enacting Information Technology Law which protects the industry in the form of law. In addition, India also attaches importance to service trade legislation, making it the most popular investment destination for telecommunications.
India has built a unique IP protection system, with legislation as the foundation, on which judicial, administrative and civil forces interact and corporate closely with other. The IP protection of India is marked by its constant updating and revisions of laws, making it in line with international standards. An IP right owner who falls victim to infringement could turn to three options of relief: civil, criminal and administrative remedies.
The Indian government issued Implementing Regulations of Intellectual Property Rules on imported Goods in order to keep the imported goods from infringing its intellectual property rights, in particular, trademarks, patents, copyrights and designs. Intellectual property rights holders could effectively prevent infringing goods from entering into India by applying for customs surveillance bulletin. Such application requires separate application for every IP right. The application for surveillance bulletin could either be filed electronically or submitted to related Commissioner of Customs. The official fee for this service is 200 INR.