Blockchain-based copyright protection platform’s effectiveness yet to be fully realized, says Kazakh IP lawyer

03 May 2024

Blockchain-based copyright protection platform’s effectiveness yet to be fully realized, says Kazakh IP lawyer

In late 2023, Kazakh company Future NFT Technology launched the Central Asian Intellectual Property Registry (CARRIP), a blockchain-based copyright registration and protection platform for Kazakhstan residents.

Creative works registered via CARRIP are stored in its blockchain-powered system, enabling transparency and stronger copyright protection through blockchain encryption. It also allows users to permit parties to use their copyrights under certain conditions. Upon payment of a fee, the authors of the creative works receive a certificate as proof of copyright registration.

Saule Akhmetova, Partner and Branch Director, GRATA International, Almaty

According to Saule Akhmetova, partner and branch director at GRATA International in Almaty, CARRIP is simple, easy to use and accessible compared to other depositories, providing authorship confirmation within a few minutes.

“Blockchain technology has the potential to significantly streamline the process of registering industrial property and intellectual creative activity,” she said. “By ensuring data integrity, blockchain can be applied to various forms of IP protection. Its use can lead to increased efficiency and authentication, curb counterfeiting, facilitate property licensing through smart contracts and simplify trademark registration.”

However, Akhmetova noted that “while CARRIP shows promise, its effectiveness in the law enforcement and judicial system is yet to be fully realized.”

“As practice shows, authors still prefer to register the results of intellectual, creative activity in the State Register of Rights to Copyrighted Objects of the National Institute of Intellectual Property of the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Kazakhstan (Expert Organization) to witness personal non-property rights,” she revealed.

After the registration, the Expert Organization will issue a copyright certificate in the State Register of Rights to Copyrighted Objects. This certificate, issued by an authorized body, is an official state document. The owner of the IP work can use the copyright certificate in court and other government and law enforcement agencies.

On the other hand, a certificate of deposit is merely recommendatory, though it may be worth noting that the deposit confirms the existence of the work at a certain point in time. “The enduring appeal of the copyright certificate, a document issued by a trusted state body, is evident as authors seek its protection through the Expert Organization,” stressed Akhmetova.

How does the platform tie up with the Kazakhstan government’s copyright protection framework? 

Akhmetova explained: “The legislation of the Republic of Kazakhstan contains only the concept of depositing works, but it does not prescribe the depositing procedure itself. Depositing an IP work is a voluntary procedure that is not subject to any legal consequences. Depository organizations work according to their own internal rules and have a right to refuse an applicant if they are not satisfied with something. Accordingly, depository organizations, including CARRIP, are not subject to government regulation.”

CARRIP, which accumulated hundreds of copyright registrations in less than 60 days since its launch, may expand to Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.

- Espie Angelica A. de Leon

Law firms

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