Tiganas and Partners IP Law Firm
News and Publications

2019-07-25
Moldova ranks 58th in the Global Innovation Index 2019

The GII 2019 ranks the world`s most innovative economies, with Switzerland topping the list, followed by Sweden and the United States.

It is released jointly by WIPO, Cornell University, INSEAD and the 2019 GII Knowledge Partners, the Confederation of Indian Industry, Dassault Systemes - the 3DEXPERIENCE Company - and the National Confederation of Industry (CNI) – Brazil and Brazilian Micro and Small Business Support Service (Sebrae). The Index is based on various data that indicate levels of innovation.

The top 10 economies this year are:

  1. Switzerland
  2. Sweden
  3. United States of America
  4. The Netherlands
  5. United Kingdom
  6. Finland
  7. Denmark
  8. Singapore
  9. Germany
  10. Israel

China is ranked 14th and Japan 15th. The top-ranked economy in sub-Saharan Africa is South Africa, which ranks 63rd in the world. Chile (ranked 51st) is top in Latin America and the Caribbean, while India (52nd) is top in Central and Southern Asia.

Moldova ranks 58th in the world, 10 positions lower compared to GII 2018. The best positions are the 4th place for the utility models by origin/bn PPP$ GDP and the 7th place for the trademarks by origin/bn PPP$ GDP.

2019-06-10
Regional Seminar on IPR Enforcement in Chisinau

The 2nd edition of the Regional Seminar entitled “Enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights”, organized by the State Agency on Intellectual Property of the Republic of Moldova in cooperation with the World Intellectual Property Organization took place on 5-6 June 2019 in Chisinau.

The Seminar aimed at enhancing knowledge in the field of intellectual property, identifying the challenges faced by the authorities responsible for the enforcement of IPR and exchanging experiences, best practices and tools to counter counterfeiting and illicit trade.

The event brought together representatives of the public institutions and authorities with attributions in the field of IPR protection and enforcement (representatives of IP offices, police officers, customs inspectors, inspectors responsible for consumer protection, prosecutors and judges) from the Republic of Moldova and Romania, Albania, Azerbaijan, Germany, Greece, Lithuania, Montenegro, Holland, Tajikistan. Representatives of WIPO, the EU Border Assistance Mission to Moldova and Ukraine and the EU Delegation to Chisinau also participated in the event.

In his speech to the participants, Ion Tiganas, managing partner Tiganas & Partners IP Law Firm, talked about the role of right holders in IPR enforcement and presented the cooperation between right holders and public authorities in Moldova.

2019-05-14
Online piracy

The on-line awareness campaign "Do you know what you risk? Online piracy is dangerous”, took place in 2018 and was implemented by State Agency for Intellectual Property with the support of the EU Project "Support to Ensure the Enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights" in the Republic of Moldova.

After the campaign, a new web page www.pirateriaonline.md was developed to raise awareness of the use of unlicensed digital content. Through this portal, the risks to the consumers, which use illegally music, movies, and programs on the Internet, are brought to the attention of the public.

2019-04-30
The Symposium dedicated to IP Day

The Annual Scientific-Practical Intellectual Property Symposium “AGEPI Readings”, 21st edition, an event organized by the State Agency on Intellectual Property, was held on 24 April this year. The event aimed to create a discussion and socialization platform that would allow the exchange of ideas and the identification of new perspectives for efficient and effective management of the biggest challenges in the field of intellectual property.

The Symposium “AGEPI Readings” was part of the series of manifestations dedicated to the World Intellectual Property Day, celebrated annually on April 26. The main theme of the celebration proclaimed by WIPO for 2019 is: Reach for Gold: Intellectual Property and Sports.

The Symposium gathered more than 80 participants both from specialists in intellectual property and representatives of institutions in the field of science and innovation and public authorities.

TIGANAS & PARTNERS IP Law Firm has participated at the event with a communication about the partnership between public authorities and right holders with a view to enforcement of intellectual property rights.

2019-04-08
The National Report on the Enforcement of IPR has been published

The National Report on the Enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights in the Republic of Moldova, elaborated by the Observatory on Enforcement of IPR was published.

The report contains the most important data on the actions taken by the public authorities of the Republic of Moldova during the year 2018, with a view to increasing the degree of public awareness of the risks posed by the phenomena of counterfeiting and piracy, as well as a series of relevant statistical data on the activity of the law-enforcement bodies in the fight against infringements of intellectual property rights, as well as the publication of legislative and institutional developments in the area concerned.

The report is elaborated annually by the AGEPI, with the information support of the public authorities of the Republic of Moldova responsible for the enforcement of intellectual property rights, namely: Customs Service, Ministry of Internal Affairs, Agency for Consumer Protection and Market Surveillance, Prosecutor Office and Competition Council. The current edition of the Report contains a series of activities carried out with the support of the Technical Assistance Project “Support to Enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights in the Republic of Moldova”, funded by the European Union.

 

2019-03-19
A new Guide for right holders

Recently, the Guide to protection of Intellectual Property Rights in Republic of Moldova has been published.

This Guide is written to deliver basic assistance to intellectual property rights holders and their advisers, on the IP protection and enforcement system in the Republic of Moldova.
Supplementary, the Guide is intended to provide simple guidelines on how rights holders can protect their IP assets and what to do if their rights are infringed in Moldova.

In this respect, the authors Kenneth Wright and Ion Tiganas have identified the following conclusions regarding the IP system in Moldova:
1) Moldovan IP legislation is harmonized with both international treaties and EU Directives;
2) Moldovan IP Office is responsible for registering and managing all intellectual property rights;
3) Efficient legal instruments exist for IPR enforcement (civil, administrative and criminal);
4) IPR enforcement institutions have dedicated IPR Units;
5) Platforms exist to facilitate cooperation between public authorities and right holders.

This publication was produced with the financial support of the European Union through the Project „Support to Enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights” in the Republic of Moldova.

2019-02-22
Analysis of Counterfeiting and Piracy in the Republic of Moldova

Last week, the first Analysis of Counterfeiting and Piracy in the Republic of Moldova was published. This report is the result of a study carried out to evaluate the current range and extent of intellectual property crime, specifically counterfeiting and piracy, in the Republic of Moldova. Its aim is to help raise awareness and understanding by assessing the key trends and potential threats to society resulting from the manufacture, distribution and sale of fake products. Where possible it also highlights and explains links to organised crime networks and their potential impact. In addition, it identifies EU best practice.

The report begins by, briefly, setting out the overall scene. It provides a background to Moldova`s internal and external environment and a short view of current legal and control structures related to Intellectual Property Rights enforcement.

The report also includes a view on the scope and scale of counterfeiting and piracy in Moldova based on market surveys by the authors and the opinions and experiences of Moldovan experts, who have also been used to provide added evidence on the availability and range of fake products being sold and distributed within the country.

In this respect, the authors Kenneth Wright and Ion Tiganas have used their own experiences and resources to pinpoint probable supply chains and how they are used.

Finally, the authors have suggested a way forward for IPR enforcement, in Moldova, aligned to a number of recommendations and conclusions based on best practices from the European Union.

The Technical Assistance project "Support to enforcement of the intellectual property rights" in the Republic of Moldova was funded by the European Union and was implemented by a Consortium led by Archidata Srl (Italy) together with European Profiles SA (Greece) and Business and Strategies in Europe S.A. (Belgium).

2019-01-03
Counterfeit and Piracy Watch List

On 8 December 2018 the European Commission published the Counterfeit and Piracy Watch List.

The Watch List presents a list of examples of reported marketplaces or service providers whose operators or owners are allegedly resident outside the EU and which reportedly engage in, facilitate or benefit from counterfeiting and piracy.

The stated aim is to encourage operators and owners, as well as local enforcement authorities and governments, to take actions and measures to reduce the availability of IPR infringing goods or services on these markets. The list of operators and owners comprises:

  • Online marketplaces offering copyright-protected content
  • E-commerce platforms
  • Online pharmacies and service providers facilitating the sales of medicines
  • Physical marketplaces

The Watch List is based on a public consultation conducted between 8 February and 19 April 2018. More than 70 responses were received through the consultation.

Regarding to our region, 7th km market (Odessa, Ukraine) was reported by stakeholders for selling high volumes of counterfeit goods, mainly clothes, fashion accessories, perfumes and cosmetics. Products mainly come from China and Turkey and almost all the goods are allegedly counterfeit. It is one of the largest wholesale and retail market in Europe with 20,000 shops, pavilions, containers and warehouses and around 6,000 merchants.

Enforcement authorities reportedly do not perform raids and seizures on this market. The low sanctions and soft criminal responsibility for counterfeiters do not deter infringers. The market administrations are reportedly reluctant to cooperate with right holders and to meet their requests.

2018-12-14
IPR Seminar for the customs officers

Tiganas & Partners representative participated in a Seminar on intellectual property rights held in Chisinau from 13 to 14 December 2018. The seminar was organized by the EU Border Assistance Mission to Moldova and Ukraine (EUBAM) and was intended for customs officers.

The event aimed to familiarize the participants with the protection and enforcement of intellectual property rights (IPR), the tools and mechanisms for ensuring IPR protection at the border.

The event was opened by Mr. Slawomir Pichor, Head of the EUBAM Mission and Mr. Vasile Plamadeala, Trade Expert, EU Delegation to the Republic of Moldova, who highlighted the timeliness of the issues addressed during the seminar.

We have brought to the attention of the participants the techniques for identifying the original products from counterfeit ones.

2018-10-16
Judges and prosecutors were trained on IPR compliance

Judges and prosecutors from 10 district centers participated in a series of seminars dedicated to ensuring the enforcement of intellectual property rights in the courts. The trainings were implemented between 8th and 12th September by the National Institute of Justice (NIJ), in partnership with AGEPI and the EU Project ”Support to Enforcement of the Intellectual Property Rights”. Our IP Law Firm has participated with a presentation regarding to the copyright litigations.

The training course aimed to enhance the knowledge of the Moldovan justice sector concerning respect for intellectual property rights.

The course was dedicated to national and international regulations in the field, the basic principles of intellectual property, its role and its essence in the legal relations, the forms and limits of the protection of intellectual property objects, the rights system that it generates, as well as the practical aspects of litigations concerning intellectual property rights.

2018-09-21
Offline with the Journalists

Journalists from 15 media institutions of the Republic of Moldova participated in an Offline entitled “Impact of Intellectual Property Rights Infringement on Society”, organized by the State Agency on Intellectual Property (AGEPI), jointly with the EU Project “Support to Enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights” in the Republic of Moldova. The purpose of such an event was to inform journalists about the impact of piracy and counterfeit products on business environment and society.

The event began with the informal and open discussions on issues related to the creation, legal protection and use of intellectual property objects.

Subsequently, the experts of the EU Project “Support to Enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights” in the Republic of Moldova spoke to the journalists about the intellectual property offenses in the online environment, the challenges for our country and the possible solutions.

 

2018-09-18
EU support for stronger and more efficient IPR Enforcement System in the Republic of Moldova

The EU funded Project “Support to Enforcement of the Intellectual Property Rights” in the Republic of Moldova, together with the State Agency on Intellectual Property (AGEPI), organized an event on 18th September 2018 to present the Moldovan IPR enforcement system to the international community. The event brought together the international community, among which representatives of the EU Delegation, Embassies, international business associations, public authorities and other related Projects.

As a non-key expert of the Project, Mr. Tiganas gave an overview of the current IPR enforcement system in the Republic of Moldova and how it can be enhanced.

The scope of the event was to showcase the progress achieved by the Republic of Moldova in strengthening the IPR enforcement system thus far, harmonizing national legislation to European acquis and inviting investors to develop businesses in the Republic of Moldova and benefit from the protection of this system.

The EU Project ”Support to Enforcement of the Intellectual Property Rights” in the Republic of Moldova is funded by the European Union and implemented by a Consortium of Archidata LLC (Italy), European Profiles S.C. (Greece) and Business and Strategies in Europe (Belgium). The project has a duration of two years and ends in November 2018.

2018-08-20
In 92% of all seizures, the right holder did not respond to the Customs Service`s notice

During 2017, the Customs Service registered 41 detentions of goods susceptible of being counterfeit, by 14% more than in the previous period.

In a case of detention the goods were placed under customs export regime, and the rest (40 cases) – under customs import regime. In 38 cases, the declarants came from the Republic of Moldova (26 legal entities and 12 natural persons), in 3 other cases of detention the declarants (natural persons) being foreigners.

As a reason for all detentions, the infringement of intellectual property rights related to trademarks, mainly foreign ones was invoked. In 4 cases, the rights enforcement procedure was initiated on the basis of the application for action, and in another 29 the procedure was initiated ex-officio, in 8 cases the combined procedure was applied.

Thus, in 92% of cases of detention of goods susceptible of infringing an IPR, the goods that were more than surely counterfeit were released for free circulation on the grounds of non-reaction of right holders to the notification of the Customs Service. Only in 3% of cases the goods were original or did not infringe any IPR. It should be noted that only 5% of the detained goods were found to be counterfeit.

2018-07-19
The number of applications for action increased in 2017

According to the National Report on the Enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights in the Republic of Moldova, during last year, 70 applications for customs action were lodged with the Customs Service (compared to 80 in 2016), of which 15 were rejected and 52 applications being accepted (with 17 less than in 2016). Of the total number of received applications 8 were filed by natural persons and 62 by legal entities.

By distributing the applications for customs action by categories of holders, it is evidenced that 41 were lodged by the national holders, 29 – by the foreign ones, the holders from the Republic of Moldova prevailing in 2017.

As regards the subject of lodged applications for action, for which border protection was sought, during the year under review, the same immense gap in favor of trademarks was registered. Thus, out of the total of 70 applications for action, 54 (about 77%) relate to trademarks, 15 (about 21%) – to industrial designs and only one application (about 2%) – to an object of copyright and related rights. On 31 December 2017, in the Customs Register has been entered 697 trademarks and other IP objects, which represents an increase by 40% compared to 2016.

2018-06-15
Regional Seminar on Intellectual Property Rights Enforcement

The Regional Seminar brought together about 80 participants from nine countries and aimed to consolidate knowledge and exchange experiences and good practices in the field of ensuring the enforcement of intellectual property rights (IPRs) and mitigating the negative impact of the phenomena of counterfeiting and piracy.

The event, organized in the context of the World Anti-Counterfeiting Day, brought together representatives of public institutions and authorities with responsibilities in the field of protection and enforcement of IPRs (police officers, customs inspectors, prosecutors and judges) in the Republic of Moldova, Armenia, Bulgaria, Georgia, Latvia, Czech Republic, Romania, Poland and Hungary, as well as representatives of the business environment.

Within two days, participants in the Regional Seminar addressed topics related to international and European standards for the enforcement of intellectual property rights, border protection measures, enforcement of IPRs in the digital environment, support tools for an effective enforcement of IPRs, the role of the right holders and courts in the enforcement of IPRs, voluntary measures to fight counterfeiting and piracy, familiarized themselves with the experiences of Bulgaria, Hungary, Latvia, Poland and Romania on IP enforcement, etc.

Mr. Ion Tiganas, from Tiganas & Partners IP Law Firm, had a presentation regarding to the role of the right holders in the enforcement of IPRs.

The Regional Seminar was organized by AGEPI, in cooperation with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and the European Union Technical Assistance Project “Support to Enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights in the Republic of Moldova”.

2018-05-28
Training Seminar for Consumer Protection Officers

A training seminar on enforcement of intellectual property intended for the Agency for Consumer Protection and Market Surveillance (APCSP) was held from 22 to 25 May this year.

The objective of the seminars was to enhance the capacity of the ACPSP to enforce IPR, following the recent amendment to the Contravention Code, which gives the ACPSP power to investigate trademark and geographical indication infringements.

During the seminars, the participants discussed topics related to the basic principles of IP, national and international regulations, IPR enforcement best practice, the role of right holders and how they can assist the APCSP. An IT communication system that will be developed by the Project to facilitate information exchange between the IPR enforcement institutions in the Republic of Moldova (e-IPR system) and other support tools were also highlighted.

Several workshops were organized during the seminar, which covered practical applications and field trials on the supervision of intellectual property rights enforcement in the Republic of Moldova.

TIGANAS & PARTNERS IP Law Firm has participated at the event with a report about the national IP legislation and four practical presentations on how to recognize counterfeit goods (specific cases on behalf of right holders).

2018-05-21
Trainings for customs officers on intellectual property issues

TIGANAS & PARTNERS IP LAW FIRM continues to train customs officers on intellectual property issues. Training courses are held at the customs offices and as participants there are officers, the responsibility of which is to stop counterfeit goods crossing the customs border.

The events are based on theoretical and practical aspects on intellectual property protection at the border. Theoretically, training classes address issues related to the regulatory framework, legal means of intervention at the border, intervention forms and procedure, the status of counterfeit goods and the means of their destruction.

The practical part consists of the presentation of types and forms of identification of counterfeit goods. In this context, right holders inform customs officers on counterfeiting elements that are used in proceedings for infringement of their products.

The most recent meeting took place on May 18th, 2018 in Chisinau for 30 officers.

2018-05-03
A new book about copyright was published in Moldova

Copyright and related rights are an important part of intellectual property. The evolution of this institution was directly determined by the development of human society. The appearance of paper, the invention of printing, the emergence of phonogram, radio, television and satellites, the invention of computer or expansion of digital network favoured resetting the system of copyright and related rights. As a result, communities and states have been forced to consider new rules of conduct, to adopt other international conventions and find the necessary compromise in order to meet the new realities.

However, the evolution of copyright is not only about a large number of adopted laws and treaties. The major change concerns the concept and essence of this system. Being seen from the beginning as a protective mechanism of the authors, it meanwhile turned into a complex system with strong legal and economic influences. Designed as a protection instrument for a small number of people, it eventually came to cover the interests of most of us, it became a subject for political negotiations among states and encourages the emergence of some social phenomena.

In this context, Mr. Ion Tiganas from TIGANAS & PARTNERS IP Law Firm has published his last work about copyright and related rights. The handbook approaches in most profound way the classic institutions of copyright, on the one hand, and considers and argues the recent developments in copyright, especially in light of digital age, on the other.

The content of the work was strongly influenced by national and international regulations in the field of copyright and related rights, and comparative analysis of different legal systems aims to create a new platform for debates. At the same time, the Tractate has taken into account the jurisprudence and visions of a number of brilliant theorists.

The distinctive feature of the Tractate is the manner and form in which its contents were displayed. Graphical representation of the material, through diagrams and tables, aims to facilitate quick understanding of the system of copyright and related rights.

The work is meant for all those interested in copyright, no matter what is their field of activity. The Tractate can be useful for both experts and professionals, as well as for those who are making their very first foray into the world of copyright. Given the younger generation`s continuing desire of knowledge, this work tries to decode the mysteries of copyright, so that students know its deepest essence and principles.

The Tractate was reviewed by some most notorious experts in the region, like Dr. Mihály Ficsor from Hungary, Dr. Viorel Roș from Romania and Dr. Oleg Efrim from Moldova.

The work was published with the financial contribution of the European Union Project „Support to Enforcement of the Intellectual Property Rights” in the Republic of Moldova.The Technical Assistance project is funded by the European Union and is implemented by a Consortium led by Archidata Srl (Italy) together with European Profiles SA (Greece) and Business and Strategies in Europe S.A. (Belgium) for a period of 2 years until November 2018.

2018-04-24
Police and prosecutors will apply European practices in investigation of cases of IPR infringements

In March 2018, the EU project ”Support to Enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights” organised two training seminars for approximately 60 police officers and prosecutors.

During the seminars, the Project experts highlighted the importance of intellectual property and the dangers of counterfeiting and piracy to society. In addition, the experts shared best practice examples on how to investigate intellectual property crime.

Furthermore, Florin Alexandru and Monica Pop, experts on intellectual property and cybercrime, presented case studies on hardware, software and services needed to start an intellectual property infringement investigation. They also covered digital evidence, examples of pirate software and how to seize a domain name.

The seminar participants included representatives from Police Headquarters, the Cyber Security Centre within the National Investigation Inspectorate, the Prosecutor`s Office, Office for Combating Organized Crime and the State Agency on Intellectual Property (AGEPI).

Since the Project was initiated in November 2016, the international expert team has organised approximately 50 workshops, trainings and seminars on intellectual property rights for state institutions and target groups. In addition, they have supported a social campaign for pupils and students in educational institutions from all over the country.

The technical assistance project ”Intellectual Property Rights Support” in the Republic of Moldova is funded by the European Union and implemented by Consortium of Archidata LLC (Italy), European Profiles S.C. (Greece) and Business and Strategies in Europe (Belgium). The project has a duration of two years and ends in November 2018.

2018-02-27
Customs officers from Moldova trained in the enforcement of IPR

More than 50 customs officials participated in an international training session that included two seminars on intellectual property.

The seminars, which took place in Chisinau between 20th and 23rd February, were designed to guide the Customs Service in the enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) and, in particular, the application of border protection measures. In addition to the topics addressed, an important objective was also the exchange of experience between the participants and the experts.

During the training sessions, the customs officers were introduced to IPR, impact of intellectual property infringements on society, enforcement legislation, enforcement procedures, useful databases, the role of rights holders and European Union best practice.

TIGANAS & PARTNERS IP Law Firm has participated at the event with four practical presentations on how to recognize counterfeit goods (specific cases on behalf of right holders).

2018-02-19
Training Course for Judges and Prosecutors

Recently, the training course for judges and prosecutors conducted by the National Institute of Justice is held at the State Agency on Intellectual Property.

The training course aims at enhancing the knowledge of representatives of the Republic of Moldova`s justice sector on the enforcement of intellectual property rights in the context of examination of intellectual property disputes.

Mr. Ion Tiganas from TIGANAS & PARTNERS IP Law Firm has participated at the event as a speaker. During his presentation, deals with the national and international regulations in the copyright field, the participants were informed about the basic principles of copyright, its role and essence in legal relationships, the forms and limits of protection of copyright, the rights system that it generates, as well as the practical aspects on settlement of disputes concerning copyright and related rights.

In the same context, during the period 14-16 February 2018, the training course “Protection of Intellectual Property in the Republic of Moldova. Practical Aspects” for legal assistants and court clerks trained in the continuous training process conducted by the National Institute of Justice was held at the State Agency on Intellectual Property.

In accordance with the training course Program, the lawyer from TIGANAS & PARTNERS IP Law Firm has familiarized the participants in the course with the theoretical and practical aspects of protection of copyright.

2018-01-30
THE POLICE AND THE PROSECUTOR`S OFFICE WILL HAVE A GUIDE ON THE CRIMINAL ENFORCEMENT OF IPR

How does the intellectual property system work in Moldova? What impact do counterfeit products have on the population? How can the authorities prevent and combat intellectual property infringements in the digital environment? These are just some of the topics covered in a guide being developed by the experts of the EU project “Support to Enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights” that will assist police and prosecutors to enforce intellectual property rights more effectively.

In this respect, project experts Monica Pop and Ion Tiganas met with representatives from the General Police Inspectorate and General Prosecutor`s Office to agree the structure and content of the intellectual property guide.

The guide is intended to be a useful aide memoir for all practitioners in the field of criminal enforcement of intellectual property rights and will clarify aspects relating to both criminalization of infringements and special investigation techniques.

The Guide on the Criminal Enforcement of the Intellectual Property Rights will include the main legislative provisions in the field, the impact of counterfeiting and piracy in the Republic of Moldova, the legal and practical aspects of intellectual property, case studies and important contact points both from Moldova and the European Union.

The Technical Assistance project "Support to enforcement of the intellectual property rights" in the Republic of Moldova is funded by the European Union and is implemented by a Consortium led by Archidata Srl (Italy) together with European Profiles SA (Greece) and Business and Strategies in Europe S.A. (Belgium).

2017-11-28
The Republic of Moldova ratified the Marrakesh Treaty

The Parliament of the Republic of Moldova voted on November 23, the Law on the Ratification of the Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works for Persons Who Are Blind, Visually Impaired or Otherwise Print Disabled.

The Marrakesh Treaty was adopted on June 27, 2013 in Marrakesh and it forms part of the body of international copyright treaties administered by WIPO. It has a clear humanitarian and social development dimension and its main goal is to create a set of mandatory limitations and exceptions for the benefit of the blind, visually impaired, and otherwise print disabled.

2017-11-08
The National IP Office is to take over the police powers in the field of IP violations

Recently, the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Moldova proposed for public debate a draft law, which also covers the intellectual property field. The draft law was designed to improve the business climate. In this respect, adjustments are proposed to the Criminal Code, the Criminal Procedure Code, the Contravention Code and a number of other normative acts.

For the intellectual property field, the draft provides for the following changes:

- Establishing a new ground for the release from criminal liability – so, a person who has committed an intellectual property offense will be released from criminal liability if he meets cumulatively more conditions. Thus, the offense must be committed for the first time, and the person shall remove the infringements and repair the damage caused to the right holders. The accused must also pay into the state budget an amount equal to the amount of the material damage caused to the right holders but not less than twice the maximum limit of the fine provided for by the sanction of the corresponding article.

- Prohibition of collecting evidences – so, by referring to a case of copyright infringement in the on-line environment, the retrieval of documents, objects, data storage devices or original information systems will only be possible if their removal does not inevitably stop the company`s economic activity.

- The criminal investigative body will be able to act only after the control activities have been launched, carried out and concluded – so, in this case, if from the complaint or self-initiative of the criminal investigation body results the suspicion of an offense in the IP field, the criminal investigative body will notify the Police in order to establish whether the violation have occurred and the amount of the damage caused by the violation.

- Assigning the competences for finding the contraventions to the National IP Office (AGEPI) - by supplementing the Contravention Code, AGEPI will be acting as an offence-finding agent. Thus, contraventions in the IP field will be excluded from police competences. As a result of this conceptual change, AGEPI public servants will have the right to determine IP related contraventions (except for GI, AO and STG, which will remain the competence of the Consumer Protection Agency) and to make corresponding concluding minutes/reports. At the same time, AGEPI Director General will be entitled to examine the contravention cases and to apply sanctions.

Given the magnitude and complexity of the proposed changes, a profound analysis of these changes is required to identify both the benefits and the risks they entail.

2017-10-24
A SPECIAL COURSE ON COPYRIGHT FOR YOUNG JOURNALISTS

Last year, Tiganas & Partners and the School of Advanced Journalism from Moldova agreed to develop a special Course on Copyright for Young Journalists. The course aims to develop journalists’ knowledge in the field of intellectual property. During the current course, Mr. Ion Ţiganaş, managing partner Tiganas & Partners, has introduced to young journalists with the principles of copyright, legal status of the author, protected works and those excluded from protection, the rights of the author-journalist, transmission of copyright rights and other topics of interest. Also, during the Course will be presented cases from the judicial practice with involvement of journalists.

School of Advanced Journalism represents a Project of the Independent Journalism Center and was launched in 2006 aimed at training journalists for mass media in Moldova. So far, this institution for postgraduate education was graduated by more than 170 young journalists. Most of them work in the field of the country mass media.

2017-10-02
Intellectual Property for IT companies

The National Association of Private ICT Companies organized a seminar aimed to approach legal protection of intellectual property in the IT field. The main aim of the event was to familiarize the specialists, managers and representatives of the IT companies with the national system of protection, exploitation and enforcement of intellectual property rights.

The seminar`s speakers, Mr. Iurie Badar, Head of Training Section AGEPI and Mr. Ion Ţiganaş, a specialized lawyer in intellectual property, approached issues of concern in the field of IP protection in respect to software industry, paying more attention to the risks that owners of the software, database, movie or other IT tools copyrights are exposed to.

2017-08-28
The training course for professors in lyceums

The State Agency on Intellectual Property (AGEPI) organized the first training course for professors in lyceums in the field of intellectual property. This course aimed to train the teaching staff that will be involved in teaching the new optional discipline “Introduction to Intellectual Property”.

The theoretical and applicative problems of the elaboration and protection of intellectual creations, the constantly increasing role of these creations in the economic, cultural and social development, as well as the need to combat the phenomena of counterfeiting and piracy were addressed during the training course.

Invited as an expert, Mr. Ion Tiganas, managing partner of TIGANAS & PARTNERS IP LAW FIRM, spoke to the professors on the importance of copyright, basic copyright principles, economic and social benefits of creation and involvement of young people in the creative process.

The Curriculum for the optional course “Introduction to Intellectual Property” was examined by the National Council for Curriculum and approved by the Ministry of Education of the Republic of Moldova in April this year.

The aim of the discipline is to promote knowledge in the field of intellectual property among pupils in the educational institutions of the Republic of Moldova, to develop practical skills in the field, but also to raise pupils` awareness of the importance of enforcement of intellectual property rights and the negative impact of counterfeiting and piracy phenomena.

2017-08-04
Use of the official or historical name of the state in the trademark and industrial design

Recently, the National Intellectual Property Office proposed for public debates the Draft amendment to the Regulation on the Mode and Conditions for Granting Permission to Use the Official or Historical name of the State in the trademark and industrial design. The draft amendment aims to establish an efficient regulatory mechanism for granting permission to use the official or historical name of the state, as well as, more efficient monitoring of the use of the official or historical name of the state in the trademark or industrial design.

The most important amendment refers to the applicant`s obligation to make a declaration on his own responsibility, that the activities carried out or to be carried out by himself do not contradict good morals and do not damage the image of the state, and that the trademark or design will be used only for the products and/or services listed in the decision on granting permission or only in the industrial design concerned. This amendment was caused by the necessity of a guarantee that the legal person carries out activities that do not damage the state`s image, given the fact that the official and historical name of the state is a distinctive sign, a symbol and attribute of the Republic of Moldova.

In the context of proposed amendments, the Committee responsible for examination of the applications will have a new task dealing with complaints regarding the infringement of the use means of the official or historical name of the state in industrial design or design for which the permission was granted.

Also, according to the draft amendment, it is proposed to increase the time limit for examining applications from 15 days to 60 days. Therefore, obtaining permission to use the official or historical name of the state in the trademark or industrial design will require more time.

2017-07-12
Moldova – a transit country of the counterfeit goods to the EU

Moldova has ratified most of International Conventions in the field of intellectual property, including the TRIPS Agreement and its legislation is harmonized with the European Directives. Furthermore, once signing the Association Agreement with the EU in 2014, the country has launched a number of law enforcement projects, notably in respect to intellectual property rights. Thus, one of the primary objectives is to ensure effective rights at the border.

Geographically located at the eastern border of the European Union, on the one hand, but also in the immediate neighborhood of the Odessa Black Sea Port, on the other hand, the Republic of Moldova is interested in trade of the counterfeit goods. According to the statistical data, a great amount of the counterfeit goods found in the EU have been transited through the Republic of Moldova, and the variety of products is very extensive, in particular clothing, cosmetics, perfumery, cigarettes, medicines, car parts and food products.

From legal point of view, Moldova has at its disposal necessary customs means to stop the access of the counterfeit products to the EU market. The Customs Code` provisions allow the intervention of customs officers either at the request of the right holder or ex officio. Moreover, with the transposition of the EU Regulation no. 608/2013 into national legislation, the procedure is identical to that applied in the EU countries, including the destruction of goods shipped in small quantity. Thus, the owners of intellectual property rights have adequate legal instruments to stop infringement of their rights in Moldova.

From the institutional point of view, there is an increase of the professional capacities of the customs officers. Through the educational partnership that our company has with the Customs Service of the Republic of Moldova, we have noticed that the customs authority is willing to respect the intellectual property rights at the border.

On the other hand, there is a need of more active involvement of the right holders. The statistics provided by the border authorities shows the decrease in the number of requests for intervention (by 39% compared to 2015) and the total number of the trademarks protected at the border declined in 2016 for the first time since the introduction of this protection system. At the same time, out of 32% of the cases related to detained counterfeit goods in 2016, the right holders did not react to the notification of the Moldovan customs authorities.

These data reveal a worrying situation that deserves to be further analyzed both by the responsible authorities of the Republic of Moldova and by the rights holders. On the other hand, the active cooperation of the right holders with Moldovan customs officers would substantially reduce the volume of counterfeits on the EU market and, implicitly, would favor the enforcement of intellectual property rights both in the EU and in Moldova.

2017-06-05
Seminar on Legal and Technical Aspects of Information Security

On June 2nd 2017, an Informational Security Seminar hosted by the Dreamups Hub took place. The event was organized by the Center for Legal Information Security (CSJI) in partnership with other sectorial associations.

The organizers of the seminar have proposed to approach the information security based on legal and technical instruments. The event attracted representatives of the local business, the associative environment and the government sector.

Being invited as a speaker, Mr. Ion Tiganas, managing partner, attorney-at-law, Tiganas & Partners IP Law Firm, had a presentation on the protection limits between various IP objects and the legal measures related to enforcement of the IP rights. An increased interest was raised towards the relationship between trademarks and domain name, including practical information on conflict resolution information through the WIPO’s specialized arbitration center.

At the end of the event, the organizers mentioned the need to continue the debates on information security.

2017-04-12
Development of the Geographical Indications System in the Republic of Moldova

On April 6th, the National Office of Vine and Wine released the Moldovan Vine and Wine Register. The Register represents a coherent traceability system that will ensure transparency of the entire technological process, starting from grapes for sale up to distribution of the final product, thus enhancing the competitiveness of Moldovan wines and helping the local producers expand both on the domestic  and foreign markets.

The Vine and Wine Register will contain detailed information about all producers of grapes and wine processors, making possible to identify products based on wine, particularly of those with protected geographical indication and appellation of origin, in all its production and trade process: wine grower, wine producer, distributor, seller, exporter.

Currently, on the territory of the Republic of  Moldova there are two protected appellations of origin and five geographical indications for local wine products.

2017-03-20
Trainings for customs officers on intellectual property issues

TIGANAS & PARTNERS IP LAW FIRM has established an agreement with the Customs Service of the Republic of Moldova to train customs officers on intellectual property issues. Training courses are held at the customs offices and as participants there are officers, the responsibility of which is to stop counterfeit goods crossing the customs border.

The events are based on theoretical and practical aspects on intellectual property protection at the border. Theoretically, training classes address issues related to the regulatory framework, legal means of intervention at the border, intervention forms and procedure, the status of counterfeit goods and the means of their destruction.

The practical part consists of the presentation of types and forms of identification of counterfeit goods. In this context, right holders inform customs officers on counterfeiting elements that are used in proceedings for infringement of their products.

The first meeting took place on February 16th, 2017, the most recent being held on March 16 to 17 in Cahul and Comrat cities.

2017-03-16
The new lesson about IP in the high school

On March 15th 2017, the administration of a high school from Cruglic village, Criuleni had the initiative of organizing a thematic lesson entitled "Infringement of the Intellectual Property in Moldova".

Invited as an expert, Mr. Ion Tiganas, managing partner of TIGANAS & PARTNERS IP LAW FIRM, spoke to the high school pupils on the importance of intellectual property, economic and social benefits of IP, creation and innovation and involvement of young people in the research process.

However, the pupils were interested, particularly, of the counterfeiting and piracy phenomena. The meeting was a good opportunity to raise awareness of the risks and consequences of intellectual property rights infringement. Moreover, during the meeting, children have been familiarized with counterfeit samples and methods to identify the fakes.

2017-02-09
The Decision of the Supreme Court of Justice in respect to trademarks protection

On February 6, 2017, the Supreme Court of Justice Plenum approved the Decision on the application of certain provisions of legislation on trademarks protection. The document was developed with view of the uniform application by the courts of the legal norms in respect to the trademarks.

The Decision is an extremely complex one and contains a large amount of explanations regarding:

- jurisdiction,

- prescription terms,

- provision of evidences and actions,

- principles and rights on trademarks,

- transfer of rights,

- absolute and relative grounds for invalidity,

- setting the notoriety,

- criteria of setting the infringement of rights on trademark,

- receipt of compensations, etc.

However, by the Decision mentioned above, shall be repealed by the Supreme Court Plenum the Decision no. 26 December 24, 2001 "Practice of application by the Courts of certain provisions of the legislation on protection of industrial property and rationalization activity", as amended by the Decision of the Supreme Court of Justice Plenum No. 10 of 22.12.2008.

Mr. Ion Tiganas, managing partner of TIGANAS & PARTNERS participated in the discussions and finalization of the Decision within the Scientific Council of the Supreme Court of Justice.

Meantime, on 25.04.2016, the Plenum of the Supreme Court of Justice also adopted the Decision on the application of certain provisions of legislation on copyright and related rights.

2017-02-02
Legislative amendments regarding the reconciliation procedure of the parties in the contravention cases

In the middle of November 2016, the Parliament of the Republic of Moldova operated some amendments to the Contravention Code. Among others, it was amended and supplemented the list of contraventions for which reconciliation is permitted.

Regarding the contravention in respect to the copyright infringement, the legislator admitted the possibility of reconciliation of the parties only for the act of illegal reproduction of the work, provided by the Art. 96, paragraph 1, letter a) and excluded the procedure of reconciliation in order to appropriate the paternity, the constraint to co-paternity or falsification, production, destruction, use, storage, transportation and illicit commercialization of the control marks.

Also, reconciliation between the victim and the offender will be possible for the contraventions targeting illegal use of trademark, use of some false or misleading indications while marking products, infringement of the owner`s exclusive right for invention or industrial design.

We mention that, reconciliation is a legal phenomenon specific to the contraventions with a reduced level of social risk. Consequently, implementation of this procedure results in removal of the contravention liability and stop of the contravention process.

2016-12-28
A new violation of the Competition Act

The Supreme Court dismissed totally the action of the IMPERIAL UNIT against the Competition Council and maintained the decision of the Competition Council`s Plenum.

Infringement to the IMPERIAL UNIT was manifested by illegal copying of a tobacco product packaging, which belongs to KARELIA TOBACCO COMPANY and placing the product on the marketplace.

The company IMPERIAL UNIT was sanctioned with a fine of 5337 MDL, paid into the state budget. However, the Plenum of the Competition Council ordered the issuance of a prescription to the IMPERIAL UNIT regarding the cessation of the unfair competition act and withdrawal from the marketplace of its tobacco articles with a copied packaging.  

In the light of the above, it`s worth mentioning that pursuant to the Art. 19 of the Competition Act, “it is prohibited any act or acts which are likely to create, by any means, a confusion with an enterprise, products or economic activities of a competitor, illegal copying of the shape, packaging and/or external appearance of the product of an enterprise, and placing that product on the marketplace, illegal copying of the advertising an enterprise, if that brought or may prejudice the legitimate interests of the competitor”.

2016-12-23
Increased fines for the infringement of Intellectual Property Rights in Moldova

 

Recently, the Republic of Moldova Parliament introduced several amendments to the Contravention and Criminal Codes, aimed in particular to increasing the fines for committing offenses and crimes. Thus, for infringement of intellectual property rights there are harsher penalties designed to discourage the damage applied to these rights:

Infringement of Intellectual Property Rights

Contravention penalty

Criminal penalty

Infringement of copyright and related rights

-      Fine from 4000 to 17500 MDL

-      Imprisonment from 3 to 5 years

-      Fine from 40000 to 500000 MDL

-      Unpaid work community service from  180 to 240 hours

-      Deprivation of the right to practice certain activities for a period from 1 to 5 years or liquidation of the legal entity

Infringement of the right to industrial property objects

-      Fine from 1000 to 15000 MDL

-      Unpaid community work from 40 to 60 hours

 

-      Imprisonment from 3 to 5 years

-      Fine from 40000 to 500000 MDL

-      Unpaid work community service from  180 to 240 hours

-      Deprivation of the right to practice certain activities for a period from 1 to 5 years or liquidation of the legal entity

Intended false statements in the registration documents regarding the protection of intellectual property

 

-      Fine from 40000 to 250000 MDL

-      Unpaid work community service from  180 to 240 hours

-      Deprivation of the right to practice certain activities for a period from 1 to 5 years

Unfair competition

 

-      Imprisonment up to 1 year

-      Fine from 50000 to 250000 MDL

-      Deprivation of the right to practice certain activities for a period from 1 to 5 years

Forgery and Counterfeiting

-      Fine from 5000 to 7500 MDL

-      Deprivation of the right to practice certain activities for a period from 6 months to 1 year

-      Imprisonment up to 1 year

-      Fine from 50000 to 250000 MDL

-      Deprivation of the right to practice certain activities for a period from 1 to 5 years

2016-10-17
A Special Course on Copyright for Young Journalists

Tiganas & Partners and the School of Advanced Journalism from Moldova agreed to develop a special Course on Copyright for Young Journalists. The course aims to develop journalists’ knowledge in the field of intellectual property. Tiganas & Partners lawyers will introduce young journalists with the principles of copyright, legal status of the author, protected works and those excluded from protection, the rights of the author-journalist, transmission of copyright rights and other topics of interest. Also, during the Course will be presented cases from the judicial practice with involvement of journalists.

School of Advanced Journalism represents a Project of the Independent Journalism Center and was launched in 2006 aimed at training journalists for mass media in Moldova. So far, this institution for postgraduate education was graduated by more than 150 young journalists. Most of them work in the field of the country mass media.

2016-09-01
The new Project "Intellectual Property for Business" will be launched in September

Beginning with September 2016, a new Project aiming to provide information on Intellectual Property and its importance for the national economy will be launched in the Republic of Moldova. The Project entitled "Intellectual Property for Business" is conducted by TIGANAS & PARTNERS in cooperation with portal of economic news AGORA, and shall produce news on intellectual property through info graphics.

We propose ourselves to present the trademark, design, patent or copyright data in more accessible terms, by combining graphics with brief messages. Our info graphics will facilitate the public awareness on the necessity to respect intellectual property, and the businesses sector to benefit from new knowledge focused on efficient management of rights.