The Belarusian Intellectual Property Office (IPO) has recently notified the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) that it will not accept applications for divisions or mergers of international trademark registrations, because the Belarusian trademark legislation does not provide for the division or subsequent merger of registrations.

Namely, new Rules 27bis, 27ter and 40(6) of the Common Regulations under the Madrid Agreement entered into force on February 1, 2019, introducing the possibility for international registration holders to request the division and merger of international trademark registrations. According to the amendments, requests for division must be filed with the local IPO, and not directly with WIPO. The local IPO may examine the request to ensure that it meets the requirements in the applicable national or regional law before notifying the International Bureau of WIPO. However, contracting states are entitled to notify WIPO that they will not present division requests to WIPO if their local legislation does not provide for the division of trademark applications.