Reforming Ukraine’s Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) legislation is crucial for the country’s further economic development. Ukraine’s Parliament has voted in the first reading Draft Law #2255 regarding the creation of the National Intellectual Property Authority and Draft Law #2259 regarding patent law reform.
The adoption of Draft Law #2255 in the first reading is a positive step towards effective IP governance. Draft Law #2255 allows the transition to a two-tier system of IP protection – the Ministry for Development of Economy, Trade, and Agriculture of Ukraine will develop respective policies, and the National Intellectual Property Authority will implement it.
Draft Law #2259 will harmonize the Ukrainian legislation on the protection of inventions and utility models within international standards. We support this initiative, but stress that the following two provisions must be amended:
- The Draft Law substantially narrows the list of patented objects and excludes from the protection of several essential R&D developments for the pharmaceutical industry;
- The rule concerning the Bolar Clause, which is a provision allowing, under certain conditions, the procedure for registering a generic medical product until the termination of patent protection of the medicinal product. The Chamber member companies’ experts believe that this provision needs to be revised to protect the patent holders from potential infringements and to ensure a balance between the patent protection and public interest. It would be appropriate to set a clear term (for example, one year) – until the expiration of a patent for a medicinal product, during which an application for registration of an interchangeable (generic) medicinal product may be submitted to the Ministry of Health.
Members of the American Chamber of Commerce in Ukraine are ready to refine Draft Law #2259 in the framework of the working group between the Draft Law’s first and second readings to successfully complete the reform in the IP field.