EU disappointed by Ukraine's slow progress in reforming intellectual property rights

EU disappointed by Ukraine's slow progress in reforming intellectual property rights
European Union

On 8 June the EU and Ukraine met to discuss Ukraine's progress in reforming its intellectual property rights laws. EU representatives claimed that the current situation regarding collective management organisations is causing irreparable damage to the interests of thousands of right holders, as the Ukrainian legislation does not include adequate provisions to ensure effective enforcement of intellectual property (IPR) rights.

The EU believes that adopting laws which would implement Ukraine's commitments under the DCFTA would help Ukraine to better integrate into the world trading system, to attract foreign investment and to prevent further major losses for right holders.

Nevertheless, Ukraine has progressed in the fight against internet piracy. The recently adopted Law on Cinematography has introduced better controls to prevent illegal content being shown on websites based in Ukraine, while cyber-police activities are very encouraging. In a press release, the EU stated that it can only hope that this good example can be followed in other areas in the sector in the future.

18 months after the EU-Ukraine DCFTA came into force, most of the legislation needed to reform this sector in line with Ukraine's commitments has still not been submitted to the Verkhovna Rada (Ukrainian parliament) by the government. The draft laws were prepared by EU experts working with the government as long ago as 2015, but are still being considered within the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade.

Ukraine promised that a pack of four laws – on Collective Management Organisations, the creation of the new IP office, inventions and utility models and copyright and related rights – would be sent to the Rada in September.