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Brand protection in Ukraine without trademark registration

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The work of any "brand" is designed to ensure that your potential Customer can distinguish the goods and services you offer from those offered by other vendors. 


The standard way of brand protection consists of trademark registration in Ukraine. But there are situations when trademark registration is impossible, for example, in case of refusal in the registration body. Or, for example, you want to wait with trademark registration - you want to save a little on the start of your business in Ukraine.


Is there any way to protect your brand in Ukraine without obligatory trademark registration? The answer is yes. We will tell you about several such methods.


Note: If you want to register your trademark in Ukraine - more information can be found
here.


Method 1. Design patenting 


An industrial design is an external design. Its purpose is to satisfy aesthetic and ergonomic needs. 


As the industrial design in Ukraine the form of the goods or packing, drawing, colouring, their combination can be registered. Thus the logo of the company-manufacturer or the distributor if it is put, for example, on the goods or its packing, also can be protected as an industrial design. 

The subject matter of a patent design can only be a visual solution, while the trademark can have a much greater variability. 


Can't be an industrial design: 

  • architectural objects (except for small architectural forms); 
  • printed matter; 
  • objects with unstable form (liquids, gases, bulk materials, etc.). 

An industrial design patent gives the owner the following options: 

  • protection against counterfeit products, by entering information into the customs register; 
  • the possibility to appeal against infringements of such object; 
  • transfer of the object for use by other persons (including through a "franchise"). 


The time period for processing an application
for a design patent is much shorter than for registration of a trademark and usually does not exceed one year. 


The validity period
of an industrial design patent shall be 10 years with the possibility of its extension for another 5 years.


As for the state fee for industrial patent registration, it is significantly lower than the fee for trademark registration in Ukraine. 


Related article:
GDPR in Ukraine: legal advice

Method 2. Commercial name in Ukraine 

If your firm does not use its own name but a specific name to identify itself on the market, such name can be used in Ukraine as a commercial name. 


In this case, unlike the trademark, a commercial name is not subject to registration, and the right to it arises from the first (as a rule, public) use, and does not have certain terms. 


Often, to confirm that a commercial name belongs to a particular enterprise, information on such name is entered into the charter, with the subsequent development of a special system of its use and management. 


It is very difficult to defend the right to such a name in case of infringement, especially if it was registered as a trademark by someone. In such a situation it is worth to rely on professional local lawyers, who will help protect your rights in court.


A more reliable way would be to initially contact a lawyer in Ukraine for advice on brand protection in Ukraine.


The above methods are not the only ones, but some of the most common ones, which allow to protect your corporate identity in a certain way in case the registration of your trademark is impossible. However, in order to ensure proper protection of its elements, this issue should be considered at the stage of planning brand development. 


Didn't find an answer to your question here?


Look on our page dedicated to intellectual property law in Ukraine.


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