LAW OF THE REPUBLIC OF BELARUS
February 5, 1993
2181-XII

ON TRADEMARKS AND SERVICE MARKS

SECTION 1.

TRADEMARK AND SERVICE MARK, THEIR LEGAL PROTECTION

Article 1. Trademark and service mark 1. The trademark and the service mark* are markings used to distinguish goods and services of some legal persons or citizens from similar goods and services** of other legal persons or citizens, respectively. 2. Trademarks may be registered wordy, design, three-dimensional and other markings or their combinations. 3. The trademark may be registered in any color or combination of colors.

Article 2. Legal protection of the trademark 1. The legal protection of the trademark in the Republic of Belarus shall be based on its registration in the State Patent Department of the Republic of Belarus or the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Belarus*** according to the procedure set by the present Law or on the strength of international treaties of the Republic of Belarus. 2. The trademark may be registered in the name of a legal person, or a citizen engaged in entrepreneurial activities without the formation of a legal person. 3. The right to a trademark is protected by the State and certified by a certificate. 4. The trademark certificate shall certify the priority of the trademark, the exclusive right of the owner to the trademark in respect of goods mentioned in the certificate, and shall contain the image of the trademark.

Article 3. Absolute grounds for registration denial It shall not be allowed to register trademarks composed only of markings: having no distinguishing signs; representing state emblems, flags and symbols, official names of states, flags, emblems, or shortened or full names of international intergovernmental organizations, official control, warranty and standard brands, awards and other distinguishing signs or marks; which have become of common usage to mark goods of a certain kind; which are commonly accepted symbols or terms; which show a kind, type, quantity, properties, purpose, value of goods, as well as those which show the place and time of their production or sale. Such markings may be included into the trademark as unprotected elements, provided there is consent to it of the relevant competent body or of their owner. 2. It shall not be allowed to register trademarks or their elements of marking: which are false or which may mislead the user as to the goods or their manufacturer; which contradict, by its content, public interests, humane and moral principles.

Article 4. Other grounds for registration denial 1. It shall not be allowed to register as trademarks markings that are indexical with, or similar to, the following in a way that they can be confuses: trademarks, previously registered or applied for their registration in the Republic of Belarus in the name of another person in relation to similar kinds of goods; trademarks of other persons, protected in the Republic of Belarus on the basis of international agreements; trade names (or their parts) owned by other persons which have obtained the right to these names before an application was received for a trademark in relation to similar kinds of goods; names of places of origin of goods, protected in the Republic of Belarus, except in the cases when they are included as an unprotected element into a trademark registered in the name of a person which has the right to use such a name. 2. It shall not be allowed to register as trademarks markings, reproducing: registered industrial designs the right to which in the Republic of Belarus belong to other persons; names of works of science, literature or art, known in the Republic of Belarus, or quotations from them, works of art or their fragments without consent of the owner of the copyright or of the relevant competent body; surnames, names, pseudonyms and their derivatives, portraits and facsimiles of known persons without consent of such persons, their heirs or a relative competent body.

Article 5. Exclusive right to the trademark 1. The owner of a trademark shall have the exclusive right to use the trademark, dispose of it, as well as the right to ban the use of the trademark by other persons. No one shall have the right to use a trademark, protected in the Republic of Belarus, for which a certificate has been issued, without permission of its owner. 2. Violation of the rights of a trademark owner shall be unauthorized execution of the actions stipulated by Article 22 of the present Law, as well as importation, offer for sale, sale or another putting into economic circulation of goods marked with a trademark protected in the Republic of Belarus.

SECTION II.

REGISTRATION OF THE TRADEMARK

Article 6. Application for the registration of the trademark 1. An application for the registration of the trademark* shall be submitted to the Patent Department by a legal person or a citizen. An application may be submitted through a patent agent registered in the Patent Department. 2. Foreign legal persons, having a permanent place of location in foreign countries, or citizens or stateless persons, living outside the Republic of Belarus, shall carry, in the Republic of Belarus, affairs connected with the registration of trademarks and extension of the registration validity time through Belarusian patent agents registered in the Patent Department. 3. An application shall concern one trademark. 4. An application for the registration of a trademark shall contain: an application for the registration of a marking as a trademark specifying the applicant, as well as its place of location or place of living; a marking being claimed; a list of goods and services being claimed for the registration, grouped according to classes of the International Classification of goods and services for the registration of trademarks. 5. The following shall be appended to an application: a document confirming payment of dues or grounds for the reduction of their size; a document confirming power of a patent agent, if the application is submitted through a patent agent; prints or photographic copies of a marking being claimed. 6. Requirements as to an application's documents shall be set by the Patent Department.

Article 7. Priority of the trademark 1. Priority of the trademark shall be established according to the date a claim is submitted to the Patent Department, that meets the requirements stipulated by paragraph 4 of Article 6 of the present Law. 2. Priority of the trademark may be established according to the day a prior claim is submitted for the trademark in a foreign country, which is a party to the Paris Convention on the Protection of Industrial Property, if the Patent Department received a claim within six months since the above date. If a clean application for the convention priority could not be submitted within the specified time period because of circumstances beyond powers of the applicant, then this time period may be extended on request of the applicant, but for not more than six months. 3. Priority of a trademark placed on exhibits of official or officially recognized international exhibitions organized in the territory of one or the countries, being parties to the Paris Convention on the Protection of Industrial Property, may be established according to the date the exhibit is presented for the first time for the open display at the exhibition, if the Patent Department has received a claim for the trademark within six months since the mentioned date. 4. An applicant, wishing to use the right to the convention or exhibition priority, shall be obliged to specify this when submitting an application for a trademark or within two months since the date the application was received by the Patent Department, enclosing the required documents confirming legality of such a claim, or shall submit these documents not later than three months after the date the application was received by the Patent Department. 5. Priority of the trademark may be established according to the date of the international registration of the trademark in conformity with international treaties of the Republic of Belarus.

Article 8. Expertise of an application for the trademark registration 1. Expertise of an application for the registration of a trademark shall be performed by the Patent Department and shall include a preliminary expertise and an expertise of a marking being claimed, to be performed in conformity with the present Law and the rules established by the Patent Department on the basis of the Law. An applicant shall have the right, on its initiative or when invited by a state expert, to take park, personally or through its preliminary expertise or the expertise of the marking being claimed. 2. Within two months since the date the application was received an applicant shall have the right, on its own initiative, to append, particularize or correct materials of the application. If additional materials substantially alter the marking being claimed or include goods of different kinds into the list of goods mentioned in the application, these materials shall not be accepted for consideration and may be claimed by the applicant in a separate claim. 3. During the expertise of a claim, an applicant may be proposed to make additions to, particularize or correct the claim. Additional materials requested by the patent Department must be submitted within a two-month period since the date the claim was received. On request the applicant this period may be extended, provided that the request was received before the expiration of this time period. If the applicant violated the above time period or gave no answer to the request, the claim shall be deemed withdrawn, and the applicant shall be informed of it. 4. An application may be withdrawn on request of the applicant at any stage of its consideration.

Article 9. Preliminary expertise 1. Preliminary expertise of a claim shall be performed within one month since the date it was received by the Patent Department. 2. The preliminary expertise shall be aimed at checking contents of the claim and availability of documents to be appended to it, as well as their correspondence with the established requirements. According to the results of the preliminary expertise, the applicant shall be informed of acceptance of the claim for expertise or of a denial to accept the claim for consideration. 3. In case when a claim is accepted for consideration, the applicant shall be informed of the established trademark priority, except in cases when it request for a convention or exhibition priority, but, by the time the claim is accepted for consideration, it did not submit the necessary documents confirming legality of this claim. 4. In case of disagreement with the decision of the preliminary expertise, an applicant shall be entitled to submit a protest to the Patent Department within two months since the date the applicant received such a secession. Decision on the protest shall be taken within one month since the date of its receiving.

Article 10. Expertise of the marking being claimed 1. Expertise of a marking being claimed shall be performed on completion of the preliminary expertise. The expertise shall establish the trademark priority, if it has not been established at the stage of the preliminary expertise, and shall check if the marking being claimed meet the requirements set by Articles 3 and 4 of the present Law. 2. According to the results of the expertise a decision shall be taken on the registration of a trademark or on denial of such registration. An applicant shall have the right to know the materials used when an expertise was performed. Copies of materials claimed against the marking being claimed may be requested within one month since the date a decision on the claim was received. 3. A secession of the expertise on the registration of a trademark may be reviewed in connection with a received claim which enjoys an earlier priority in accordance with Article 7 of the present Law. 4. When an applicant disagrees with a deacon of the expertise, the applicant shall have the right to submit, within a two-month time period since the day the decision was received, to the Patent Department a request a new expertise. A new expertise shall be performed within a two-month time period since the day the applicant's request was received.

Article 11. Appeal against a decision on a claim and restoration of time terms exceeded 1. When the applicant disagrees with a decision of a new expertise, the applicant shall have the right to submit, within a three-month time period since the day the decision was received, a motivated claim to the Appeal Board of Patent Expertise of the Patent Department*. The claim shall be considered within a four-month time period since the day it was received. The applicant shall have the right, personally or thorough its representative, to take part in the consideration of its claim. 2. A decision of the Appeal Board may be appealed against by the applicant in the Patent Court of the Republic of Belarus** within six months since the day the decision was taken. 3. Time terms stipulated by items 2, 3 Article 8, item 4 of Article 9, item 4 of Article 10 and item 1 of Article 11 of the present Law, exceeded by the applicant, may be restored on application of the applicant, if the application is submitted not later than six months on expiration of the terms and if the applicant confirms good excuses and pays the dues.

Article 12. State Register of Trademarks and Service Marks of the Republic of Belarus The Patent Department shall register trademarks in the State Register of Trademarks and Service Marks of the Republic of Belarus***. The Register of Trademarks shall include: the inane of a trademark, data on its owner, data on the trademark priority, the date on its owner, data on the trademark priority, the date of its registration, a list of goods and services covered by the registered trademark. The Register of Trademarks shall include also other data, related to the trademark registration, extension of the registration period, registration cancellation, as well as all subsequent alterations of such data. On application of a person concerned, the Patent Department may provide an abstract from the Register of Trademarks.

Article 13. Issue of a certificate for a trademark A certificate for a trademark shall be issued by the Patent Department on the basis of a trademark's registration in the Register of Trademarks within a one-month period after a document on the payment of the established due was received.

Article 14. Registration validity terms 1. Registration of a trademark shall be valid within ten years since the date an application (claim) was received by the Patent Department. 2. Registration validity terms may be extended on application of the owner submitted during the last year of its validity; each time the terms are extended for another ten years. To extend the trademark registration validity terms, the owner may be granted, on his request, an additional six-month period after the registration validity terms have expired, provided an additional due has been paid. 3. A record shall be made in the Register of Trademarks and the trademark certificate confirming the extension of the registration validity terms.

Article 15. Modifications of the registration The owner of a trademark shall notify the Patent Department on modifications (alterations) of his name, surname, first or patronymic names, a reduction of the list of goods covered by the registered trademark. A record on such modifications shall be made in the Register of Trademarks and the trademark certificate. If a list of goods covered by the registers trademark is to be appended, a new claim shall be issued.

Article 16. Terms of renewed registration A trademark, whose registration has been terminated on the grounds of Article 25 of the present Law, may not be registered anew, within three years since the date of the registration termination, in the name of a person other than the former owner of the trademark or his assignee. This rule is not applied in the case, when registration of a trademark has been recognized invalid in accordance with Article 24 of the present Law.

Article 17. Publication of registration data Data, related to the trademark registration and recorded into the Register of Trademarks in accordance with Article 12 of the present Law, shall be published by the Patent Department in the official bulletin within six months since the date the trademark was registered in the Register of Trademarks. All subsequent modifications in data related to the trademark registration shall also be published.

Article 18. Dues 1. Dues shall be collected for a submitted application (claim), expertise, registration and issue of a trademark certificate, extension of the registration validity terms, as well as for other judicial actions connected with the registration and extension of the trademark registration validity terms. A list of actions the performance of which requires the collection of dues, procedure, amounts and time for the payment of dues, as well as grounds for exemption, reduction of due amounts or pay back of dues shall be established by the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Belarus. 2. Dues shall be paid by an applicant (claimant), a trademark owner, or by another legal person of citizen concerned as agreed with the applicant or the owner.

Article 19. Registration of a trademark in foreign countries 1. Legal persons and citizens of the Republic of Belarus shall have the right to register a trademark in a foreign country or arrange its international registration. An application for the international registration of a trademark shall be submitted in accordance with international treaties (agreements), to which the Republic of Belarus is a party. 2. Expenses connected with the registration of a trademark in a foreign country and an international registration shall be borne by the applicant or by another legal person or citizen concerned as agreed with the applicant.

SECTION III.

COLLECTIVE MARKING

Article 20. Collective marking 1. The collective marking shall be a trademark of a union, association, concern or another economic amalgamation*, designed to mark goods produced or realized by them and having united qualitative or other common characteristics. 2. A collective marking (trademark) and the right to its use may not be transferred (assigned).

Article 21. Registration and use of a collective marking 1. A claim to a collective marking (trademark) shall enclose a collective marking's statute which includes the name of the amalgamation authorized to register the collective marking in its name, a list of legal persons and entrepreneurs without the formation of the legal person which have the right to use this marking, purpose of its registration, a list of goods as well as united qualitative or other common characteristics of goods to be marked by the collective marking, conditions of its use, procedure for supervision over its use, responsibility for the violation of the collective marking' statute. 2. The Register of Trademarks and the collective marking certificate shall include, in addition to the data stipulated by Article 12 of the present Law, data on legal persons and entrepreneurs without the formation of the legal person, which have the right to use the collective marking. These data as well as an abstract from the collective marking' statute about united qualitative or other common characteristics of goods covered by the registered trademark, shall be published by the Patent Department in the official bulletin. 3. The owner of a collective marking shall notify the Patent Department about modifications in the collective marking's statute. 4. In the case when a collective marking is used on goods that do not possess united qualitative or other common characteristics, its registration validity may terminated -- fully or partially -- before time on the basis of a decision of the Patent Department taken according to an application submitted by the legal person or citizen concerned.

SECTION IV.

USE OF THE TRADEMARK

Article 22. Use of the trademark and consequences of its non-use 1. Use of a trademark shall mean its utilization on goods, covered by the registered trademark, or on their packing, by the owner of the trademark or a person who has been granted this right on the basis of a licensing contract in accordance with Article 27 of the present Law. Use may be also recognized as utilization (application) of a trademark in advertising, printed issues, notices, plates, when demonstrating exhibits at exhibition and fairs held in the Republic of Belarus, provided there are good excuses for non-use of the trademark on goods or on their packing. 2. The Patent Court may take a decision to terminate, fully or partially, a trademark's registration validity before time, if a legal person or citizen has submitted an application about non-use of the trademark continuously during five years since the date of its registration on five years preceding the submission of such an application. When solving the issue of termination before time of the trademark registration validity in connection with its non-use, account may be taken of data submitted by the owner of the trademark proving that the trademark has not been used due to circumstances that are beyond powers of the owner.

Article 23. Warning marking The owner of a trademark may place beside the trademark a warning marking stating that the marking utilized is a trademark registered in the Republic of Belarus.

SECTION V.

TERMINATION OF THE LEGAL PROTECTION OF THE TRADEMARK

Article 24. Recognition of a trademark' registration invalidity 1. Registration of a trademark may be recognized invalid, fully or partially, during the entire time of its validity, if it has been performed in violation of the requirements stipulated by Article 2, 3 and 4 of the present Law. Any legal person or citizen may submit, within the above specified time, a protest against registration of a trademark to the Appeal Board. 2. A protest against registration of a trademark must be considered within six months since the date it was received. The person which has submitted the protest, as well as the owner of the trademark shall have the right to participate in its consideration. 3. A decision of the Appeal Board may be appealed against in the Patent Court within six months since the day it was received.

Article 25. Cancellation of a trademark's registration Registration of a trademark shall be cancelled by the patent Department: in connection with the expiration of its validity terms stipulated by Article 14 of the present Law; in case it is recognized invalid in accordance with Article 24 of the present Law; in case of a legal person's liquidation, which is the owner of the trademark; in case of death of the person who is the owner of the trademark, carrying on entrepreneurial activities without the formation of the legal person; by a decision of the Patent Court to terminate its validity before time; in case the owner of the trademark disclaims the registration.

SECTION VI.

ASSIGNMENT OF THE TRADEMARK

Article 26. Assignment of right to the trademark Right to a trademark may be assigned by the owner, according to a contract, to a legal person or citizen in relation to all, or part of, goods covered by the registered trademark. Assignment of right to a trademark shall not be allowed, if it may be a cause, misleading a user in relation to goods or their manufacturer.

Article 27. Granting of the license for the use of the trademark The owner of a trademark (licensor) may grant the right to the use of the trademark to another person (licensee) by a licensing contract. A licensing contract must include a provision stipulating that quality of goods of a licensee will not be lower than quality of goods of the licensor and that the licensor shall exercise control over the fulfillment of this provision.

Article 28. Registration of the contract on the assignment of rights to the trademark and of the licensing contract A contract by condition of which an owner assigns a trademark to another legal person or citizen, and a licensing contract shall be registered by the Patent Department. Without such registration, they shall be deemed invalid.

SECTION VII.

ORGANIZATIONAL PRINCIPLES OF THE LEGAL PROTECTION OF THE TRADEMARK AND PROTECTION OF THE RIGHTS OF OWNER

Article 29. State Patent Department of the Republic of Belarus under the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Belarus The State Patent Department of the Republic of Belarus under the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Belarus shall accept for consideration applications (claims) for the registration of trademarks, perform expertise on them, issue certificate for trademarks having force in the entire territory of the Republic of Belarus, keep the State Register of Trademarks and Service Marks of the Republic of Belarus, exercise, within its competence, control over the observance of laws on trademarks, generalize practice of their application, explain the provisions of the present Law, render methodical aid and services, carry on information operations as to trademarks, carry on activities connected with international registration of trademarks.

Article 30. Bodies considering disputes connected with violation of laws on trademarks Disputes connected with trademarks shall be considered by regional (town, district) people's courts of justice, the Minsk City court, Oblast court, the Supreme Court of the Republic of Belarus, as well as by economic courts in accordance with their competence, except disputes referred to the competence of the Appeal Board and the Patent Court in accordance with Articles 11, 21, 22 and 24 of the present Law.

Article 31. Responsibility for the violation of rights of the owner of the trademark 1. Use of a trademark in contradiction to the present Law or a trademark similar to a trademark used to mark similar kinds of goods, as well as other actions in relation to a trademark, which cause damage to its owner or to users, shall incur civil-law, administrative or criminal responsibility in conformity with the legislation in force. 2. A persons using a somebody else's trademark shall be obliged, on demand of the owner, to terminate its usage and compensate for caused losses.

SECTION VIII.

FINAL PROVISIONS

Article 32. Legislation of the Republic of Belarus on trademarks The legislation on trademarks includes the present Law and other legislative acts of the Republic of Belarus.

Article 33. Rights of foreign legal persons, foreign nationals and stateless persons Foreign legal persons, as well as foreign national and stateless persons shall enjoy the rights stipulated by the present Law and other legislative acts of the Republic of Belarus, regulating matters of trademarks, on a par with legal persons and nationals of the Republic of Belarus, unless otherwise stipulated by the present Law and other legislative acts of the Republic of Belarus.

Article 34. International treaties If an international treaty (agreement) of the Republic of Belarus stipulates rules other than the rules contained by the present Law, then rules of the international treaty (agreement) shall apply.

Chairman, Supreme Soviet of the Republic of Belarus
S.SHUSHKEVICH
DECREE OF THE SUPREME SOVIET OF THE REPUBLIC OF BELARUS
ON THE PROCEDURE FOR ENTRY INTO FORCE OF THE LAW OF THE REPUBLIC OF BELARUS

"ON TRADEMARKS AND SERVICE MARKS"

The Supreme Soviet of the Republic of Belarus decrees the following:

1. The Law of the Republic of Belarus "On Trademarks and Service Marks" shall enter into force from the day of its adoption.

2. Until the legislation of Republic of Belarus is made corresponding with the Law of the Republic of Belarus "On Trademarks and Service Marks", the legislation in force shall apply in the part wherein it does not contradict the given Law.

3. The Law of the Republic of Belarus "On Trademarks and Service Marks" shall be applied to legal relations arising after the present Law enters into force.

4. Acting certificates of the USSR for trademarks and service marks, in relation to which a ten-year period has not expired since the date the application was submitted, shall be registered in the State Register of Trademarks and Service Marks of the Republic of Belarus for the next ten years if the owner submits an application requesting the issue of the certificate of the Republic of Belarus. The application shall be presented to the State Patent Department of the Republic of Belarus under the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Belarus within 8 months from the date the Law enters into force. Certificates for trademarks and service marks, owned by foreign applicants and being in force in the territory of the former USSR in conformity with Madrid Treaty on International Registration of Trademarks, shall be registered according to the procedure established by the World Organization of Intellectual Property. To extend the term of validity of a trademark or a service mark, its owner shall be given a six-month period after the registration validity term has expired, provided an additional due has been paid.

5. As regards applications (claims) submitted to the Patent Department of any state being a party to Paris Convention on the Protection of Industrial Property, including applications (claims) submitted to the Patent Department of the USSR or the Committee of the Russian Federation on Patents and Trademarks, in relation to which official proceedings have not been completed and certificates have not been issued, applicants shall be granted the right to submit an application requesting the issue of a certificate of the Republic of Belarus, retaining the priority for the date the first application was submitted. An application shall be submitted to the State Patent department of the Republic of Belarus under the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Belarus within 6 months since the day the Law enters into force, provided that this priority is applied for not later than 21 months since the date the first application was submitted. Application (claims), in relation to which requests are submitted at a specified time, shall be considered according to the procedure established by the Law of the Republic of Belarus "On Trademarks and Service marks".

6. The Council of Ministers of the Republic of Belarus shall be given the right to establish -- on the basis of bilateral agreements with the states being former subjects of the USSR -- another procedure for obtaining certificates and maintaining them in force, suffering from the procedure stipulated by item 2 of Article 6 of the Law of the Republic of Belarus "On Trademarks and Service Marks".

7. The Council of Ministers of the Republic of Belarus, together with commissions of the Supreme Soviet of the Republic of Belarus on legislation, science and scientific-technical progress, shall prepare and submit to the Supreme Soviet of the Republic of Belarus propositions on administrative and criminal responsibility for violation of the Law Republic of Belarus "On Trademarks and Service Marks".

8. The Council of Ministers of the Republic of Belarus shall: submit to the Supreme Soviet of the Republic of Belarus propositions on making the legislative acts of the Republic of Belarus corresponding with the Law of the Republic of Belarus "On Trademarks and Service Marks"; insure the adoption of normative acts, referred to its competence, stipulated by the Law of the Republic of Belarus "On Trademarks and Service Marks"; make the decisions of the Government of the Republic of Belarus corresponding with the Law of the Republic of Belarus "On Trademarks and Service Marks"; insure cancellation by ministries and department of the Republic of Belarus their normative acts, contradicting the given Law.

Chairman, Supreme Soviet of the Republic of Belarus
S. SHUSHKEVICH
February 5, 1993 Minsk 2182-XII
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