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Are Common Eurasian Trademarks on the Horizon?

11 May 2018

Since there is much commercial exchange involving movement of goods, the problem of the legality of trademarked goods in each territory becomes an issue. Currently all EAEU countries are members of all major international treaties regarding trademark protection: the Paris Convention, Nice Agreement, Singapore Treaty, Madrid Agreement and the Protocol relating to the Madrid Agreement. Russia, Kyrgyzstan, Armenia and Kazakhstan are also members of the WTO and bound by obligations under the TRIPS agreement. This means trademark laws in EAEU countries has been harmonised and cooperation in this sector should be easy.

Now every country has its own trademark law and its own registration system. It happens to be the case that a trademark may be registered in one country and may not be registered in another. In the absence of customs borders, goods may freely travel from one country to another and thus change their status from legal to counterfeit. The same thing happens if trademarks belong to different persons. A logical development after the formation of the economic union was to think about a common trademark. The example of the European Union which concluded an agreement on the Community Trademark inspired the founders of the EAEU to foster trade among member states. A Treaty on the Eurasian Economic Union was signed in 2014 and came in force in 2015 and the treaty contains a section related to the trademarks and service marks of the EAEU. The idea of a common trademark was further developed in the draft treaty “On Trademarks, Service Marks and Appellations of Origin of the Eurasian Economic Union”. In pursuance of that Treaty, there were drafted regulations in late 2017 which consolidated upon understanding of provisions within the Treaty. It should be noted that the Eurasian Economic Commission located in Moscow, is the central body to the discussion and coordination of efforts within EAEU countries.

According to the Treaty and Regulations, there will be one trademark application filed with one of the member state patent/trademark offices, and with protection also being granted simultaneously in all member countries. The Treaty does not provide for the creation of a unitary international trademark office, but instead provides for the collaboration between all EAEU member countries’ respective offices in the process of examining one union trademark application. The Eurasian Economic Commission will preside over the Registration of Union Trademarks.