Ukraine continues to have high indicators in terms of counterfeiting and piracy: International IP Index

The American Chamber of Commerce in Ukraine welcomes the release of the fifth edition of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce International IP Index “The Roots of Innovation” and believes that this publication is extremely timely, as it shows that countries of every region, size, and income level are increasingly investing in IP infrastructure as a tool for development, a stimulus for jobs and economic growth, a catalyst for domestic innovation and creativity. This year’s IP Index recognizes the indispensable role of intellectual property (IP), in facilitating innovative and creative activity on a socially transformative scale.  Based on the publication, Ukraine’s overall score has increased slightly from 39% of the total possible score in the fourth edition (with a score of 11.55 out of 30) to 40% (14.06 out of 35) in the fifth edition. According to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s research, this reflects small but still positive improvements in certain areas, including life sciences patent enforcement, cooperative action against online piracy, fair and balanced exceptions to copyright, and protection of well-known marks.

Among key areas of strength the following were identified: efforts to align IP legislation to EU standards and implement Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement (DCFTA); some improvement in enforcement of life sciences patents by courts, although key gaps exist; emphasis on strengthening online copyright environment in the area of cooperative action against online piracy and the appropriate balance of exceptions to copyright; contracting party on certain key international IP treaties.

Among weakness were highlighted such the following aspects: rudimentary framework for trademarks and design protection does not provide guarantees against unfair use (with exceptions); among the highest rates of counterfeiting and piracy worldwide, currently relatively little effort to combat; generally poor environment for IP enforcement online (lengthy, no deterrent proceedings); gaps in customs activities, notably lack of effective procedures for destruction of counterfeits. Such assessment means the general understanding of the importance and urgency of resolving the existing issues with IP protection in Ukraine, still there is a great space for further improvement. 

Realizing the importance of development of the IP standards as essential to the success of any 21st century economy, last year the American Chamber of Commerce in Ukraine (the Chamber) launched a respective Intellectual Property Rights Committee. Its mission is to contribute to development of comprehensive legal and institutional framework related to the issues of intellectual property rights protection and enforcement as well as promotion innovations and creativity in Ukraine.

After putting the IPR issue on top of the government’s agenda in 2016, this year the Chamber IPR Committee works on such priorities as harmonization of national legislation with EU law; establishment of effective mechanisms to combat counterfeit and illegal trade; establishment of fair and transparent administration of the system for collective management organizations; implementation of effective means to combat online infringement of copyright and related rights; legalization of software used by the Ukrainian government agencies.

“It is sad to see Ukraine ranked in this latest index among countries with the highest rates of counterfeiting and piracy worldwide. The American Chamber of Commerce will continue contributing to the development of a comprehensive legal and institutional framework related to the issues of intellectual property rights protection and enforcement, promoting innovations and creativity in Ukraine” commented Andy Hunder, President of the American Chamber of Commerce in Ukraine.

The Chamber will continue taking every single effort in addressing these priorities to key policy-makers, and believes that their effective enforcement will contribute to a positive tendency of Ukraine’s position in the next edition of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce International IP Index.

For more information, please find the fifth edition of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce International IP Index “The Roots of Innovation” here:

 http://www.theglobalipcenter.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/GIPC_IP_Index_2017_Report.pdf