The beginning of 2021 has marked several significant changes in the area of trademark rights protection in Kazakhstan, as well as wine trademark and wine name advertisement.
The first change relates to the procedure for entering a trademark into the Custom Register of Intellectual Property Objects (“Customs Register”).
Owners are entitled to enter their trademarks into the Customs Register upon an application to the customs authorities. This helps prevent counterfeits entering the country, as well as “parallel imports”.
Until 2021, this procedure has been complicated by the requirement to provide a document proving the goods’ movement across the border of the Eurasian Economic Union (“EAEU”) in violation of intellectual property rights.
In practice, the customs authorities required trademark owners to provide copies of court resolutions, issued in any country of the EAEU that would confirm the violation of intellectual property rights. Frequently this has prevented the inclusion of trademarks into the register, which led to negative consequences: the import of counterfeit and original goods without the owners’ consent.
With the adopted amendments, the requirement to provide such a document is abolished1.
Moreover, now applications and other documents should be submitted only in electronic form. These measures will simplify the procedure for collecting documents and submitting applications and will help to protect the rights of trademark owners.
The above changes will become effective on January 17, 2021.
The second change concerns Kazakh wine trademarks and names in advertisements. Starting from January 11, 2021, it is possible to advertise trademarks and (or) names of wine that have been produced in Kazakhstan2.
Alcohol advertisements remain prohibited in Kazakhstan; but now it is permissible to advertise Kazakh wine as a brand, though not as an individual product. The advertisements should be placed only in Kazakh media: TV and radio channels, periodicals (except for children’ and religious ones), and at night only. In terms of advertising content, there are a number of strict requirements related to the ban on using minors in advertising, and the promotion of consumption or other ways of promoting wine.