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Amendments to Trademark Law Provide Enhanced Protection

Issued: August 01 2009

Amendments and additions to Azerbaijan’s Trademark Law will provide enhanced protection for well-known trademarks and limitations on who may act before state agencies, according to Gunduz Karimov, a Baker & McKenzie associate in Baku.

Karimov says that under Law No. 783-IIIQD, effective May 17, On Additions and Amendments to Law on Trademarks and Geographical Designations, several substantial changes and additions were made to the provisions on well-known trademarks, trademark registration, trademark representation and transfer of exclusive rights.

“Prior to the amendments, during the examination of a trademark application, the search of similar or identical marks was limited to existing trademark registrations and pending applications,” Karimov said. “The amendments now require an examination of the national market for the presence of similar and identical trademarks used for similar or identical goods and services which are already well known among consumers and producers.”

Existing well-known trademarks in use in Azerbaijan may now serve as grounds for rejection of a trademark registration. A trademark is not considered well-known if it became well-known only after the registration of a similar or identical trademark for similar or goods or services, according to Karimov.

Additionally, well-known trademarks and trademark registrations are now protected against illegal use in internet and domain names. The amendments likewise limit who may act before state agencies in matters relating to trademark registration. Now, only licensed patent attorneys are authorised to act on behalf of foreign legal entities and natural persons before state agencies on trademark issues, Karimov said.

The amendments also address the infringement of registered trademarks, trademark priority, examination of trademark application, trademark exclusivity, invalidation and cancellation of trademark registrations, and registration of trademark license agreements.


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