Tiganas and Partners IP Law Firm
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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.

2018-04-12
2017 in statistics: Cybersquatting cases

A record 3,074 UDRP cases were filed at WIPO`s Arbitration and Mediation Center in 2017. Cases relating to new gTLDs accounted for more than 12% of the caseload, with registrations in .store, .site and .online the most commonly disputed. Meanwhile, ccTLD disputes accounted for about 17% of filings (WIPO is designated as a dispute resolution service by 76 ccTLD registries).

Three industries – banking and finance, fashion and internet and IT – accounted for nearly one-third of all cases. The country where most cases originated was the US, followed by France, the UK, Germany and Switzerland. The biggest filers were Philip Morris, Michelin, AB Electrolux, Andrey Ternovskiy (Chatroulette) and Sanofi.

Since the first UDRP case in 1999, WIPO has received more than 39,000 cases covering more than 73,000 domain names.

2018-03-29
2017 in statistics: Madrid System

WIPO has recently shared data on applications and cases filed during the year 2017.

According to information published by WIPO on 21 March, there were 56,200 trade mark applications via the Madrid System during 2017, an increase of 5% on 2016. The top five countries for applications were the US, Germany, China, France and the UK.

Applications from China grew by 36.3% while those from the Russian Federation increased by 23.9%. Austria, Italy and the Netherlands each saw a small drop in filings.

The biggest filers were L`Oréal, Richter Gedeon, ADP Gauselmann, Novartis and Abercrombie & Fitch Europe.

WIPO also published data on patent trends in the PCT and designs in the Hague System on 21 March.

2018-03-16
Trade in counterfeit goods and free trade zones

Many countries, inclusive Republic of Moldova, have set up Free Trade Zones. The purpose is to support economic development by providing tax advantages and other regulatory exemptions, bringing economic benefits. The downside is that these zones can be misused by criminal organizations to traffic and smuggle counterfeit and pirated goods with all the negative effects know to brand owners and their experts.

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and European Observatory on Infringements of Intellectual Property Rights (EUIPO), supported by World Customs Organization, the European Commission`s Directorate-General for Taxation and Customs Union and the United States Department of Homeland Security, have undertaken a study into this topic, resulting in a confirmation of the links between trade in counterfeit and pirated goods and free trade zones.

Main findings:

  • An additional free trade zone within an economy is associated with a 5.9% increase in the value of counterfeit exports;
  • A 1% increase in the value of export from free trade zones increases the value of counterfeit exports by 0.28%;
  • A 1% increase in the number of firms operating in free trade zones increases the value of counterfeit exports by 0.29%;
  • A 1% increase in the number of employees working in free trade zones increases the value of counterfeit exports by 0.21%;
  • A 1% increase in the value of investments in free trade zones raises the value of counterfeit exports by 0.17%;
  • Free trade zones employ 66 million people and generate over USD 500 billion in direct trade related value added;
  • The most recent estimates put the number of FTZs worldwide at over 3 500 zones in more than 130 economies.

The EUIPO and the OECD are carrying out a series of studies on the global trade in counterfeit and pirated products, analyzing the impact on the economy, and the share of international trade affected by the phenomenon.

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).

2017-12-14
Tackling counterfeiting and piracy across the EU – the impact of a coordinated approach

Intensive cooperation and coordination between enforcement authorities at EU level has led to the seizure of millions of fake and possibly harmful products and has helped to take down several transnational criminal networks.

At the forefront of this cooperation is the Intellectual Property Crime Coordinated Coalition (IPC3), set up within the current structure of Europol, the European Union Agency for Law Enforcement Cooperation, and which has been co-funded by the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) since July 2016.

As a result of the IPC3`s success to date, the EUIPO has doubled the funding available to the unit, to enable it to intensify its work and build on the results it has achieved since its foundation. Its enhanced tasks will include: scanning of the internet; data analysis and processing; and increased training of enforcement authorities.

In 2017 alone, the IPC3 has been involved in 36 major intellectual property crime cases. The unit has coordinated large transnational operations from its headquarters in The Hague, and has extensively assisted cross-border investigations by providing operational and technical support. In addition, on-the-spot support has been supplied by deploying IPC3`s experts to assist the national law enforcement actions in EU Member States, allowing for real-time information exchange and cross-checks against Europol`s databases.

During 2017, over 1 700 secure messages relating to IP crime have passed through the IPC3 hub in Europol, and nearly 1 400 suspects have been investigated.

Some of the major investigations coordinated or supported by the IPC3 this year are:

  • Operation In Our Sites (IOS) VIII, the biggest hit against online piracy, tackling illicit websites offering counterfeit goods or pirated content. The operation, which finalized in November 2017, resulted in the seizure of over 20 520 domain names illegally selling counterfeit merchandise online to consumers. The goods sold included sportswear, electronics and pharmaceutical products, as well as online piracy on e-commerce platforms and social networks. IOS VIII was carried out in 27 countries, and was jointly coordinated and supported by Europol, US Immigration and Customs Enforcement - Department of Homeland Security Investigations (ICE – HSI) and Interpol.
  • Operation Silver Axe II, targeting the emerging menace of illicit pesticides, led to the seizure of 122 tones of illegal or counterfeit pesticides across 16 EU Member States in July 2017. The operation targeted infringements of intellectual property rights such as trademarks, patents and copyright, as well as the substandard pesticides.
  • Operation Opson VI, a joint Europol-Interpol initiative tackling counterfeit food and drink, resulted in the seizure, from December 2016 until March 2017, of more than 13.4 tones of potentially harmful food items and 26.3 million liters of potentially harmful drink products, worth an estimated EUR 230 million. These products ranged from everyday products such as alcohol, mineral water, seasoning cubes, seafood and olive oil, to luxury goods such as caviar.
  • Operation Gazelled to the disruption of an organized crime group trading horsemeat in Europe that was unfit for human consumption. In Spain, 65 people were arrested and charged with crimes including animal abuse, document forgery, perverting the course of justice, crimes against public health, money laundering and being part of a criminal organization.
  • Operation Kasperresulted in the dismantling of one of Europe`s biggest illegal distributors of Internet Protocol television (IPTV), and their servers shut down. The criminal network owned two internet Service Providers (ISPs) in Spain and Bulgaria that illicitly offered more than 1000 TV channels to clients across Europe.
  • Operation Pinarled to the disruption of an international criminal organization involved in intellectual property (IP) crime and money laundering. In total, almost 265 000 products infringing intellectual property rights – including textiles, footwear, watches, sunglasses, leather goods, jewellery and more - were seized in the Spanish areas of La Junquera and El Perthus, with an estimated black market value of EUR 8 million.

The Intellectual Property Crime Coordinated Coalition (IPC3) builds on the strategic agreement between Europol and EUIPO signed in 2013.

ABOUT THE EUIPO

EUIPO, the European Union Intellectual Property Office, is a decentralized agency of the EU, based in Alicante, Spain. It manages the registration of the European Union trade mark (EUTM) and the registered Community design (RCD), both of which provide intellectual property protection in all 28 EU Member States, as well as carrying out cooperation activities with the national and regional IP offices of the EU.

ABOUT Europol

Europol is the European Union Agency for Law Enforcement Cooperation. Headquartered in The Hague, the Netherlands, Europol supports the 28 EU Member States in their fight against terrorism, cybercrime and other serious and organized forms of crime.

2017-12-08
Design filings worldwide grow by 10 per cent

An estimated 963 100 industrial design applications, containing 1.2 million designs, were filed in 2016, according to figures published in WIPO`s annual World Intellectual Property Indicators survey on 6 December.

This represents growth of 10.4% in the number of designs, and 8.3% in the number of design counts (the total number of designs contained in industrial design applications).

China accounted for 52% of the world total, with applications containing 650 344 designs in 2016. The next biggest offices were: EUIPO (104 522), KIPO (69 120), Germany (56 188), Turkey (6 305).

Offices that saw notable growth included Iran (34.8%), Ukraine (17.4%), China (14.3%) and the United States (12.1%).

A high proportion of designs in applications filed by applicants based in Switzerland (84.2%), Sweden (66.8%) and the US (55.8%) were destined for protection abroad, while applicants from China, India and the Islamic Republic of Iran mostly sought protection within their respective domestic markets.

Designs related to furnishings accounted for 10.8% of all filings, followed by those related to clothing (8.6%) and to packages and containers (7.3%).

The total number of industrial designs in force worldwide grew by 6% to reach 3.6 million. Around 1.36 million were in force in China, followed by the Republic of Korea (338 234), the US (307 018), Japan (250 819) and the EUIPO (194 781).

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.

2017-09-19
International Registration of Marks, 2016

The Madrid System makes it possible for a trademark holder to apply for trademark registration in multiple countries by filing a single international application via a national or regional intellectual property  office.It simplifies the process of multinational trademark registration by eliminating the need to file a separate application in each jurisdiction in which protection is sought. The System also simplifies managing the mark after registration, as it is possible to centrally request and record further changes or to renew the registration through a single procedural step.

According to the Madrid Yearly Review:

  • Picking up from 2015`s modest increase, Madrid international applications grew by 7.2% in 2016, the fastest since 2010.
  • L`Oréal of France became the top Madrid applicant for the first time in 2016, filing 150 applications.
  • Most Madrid international applications originate in high-income countries, but the share from middle-income countries is growing.
  • ­Three out of every five Madrid applications came from Europe in 2016, but Asia`s share has has been growing fast.
  • For the third year in a row, the U.S. was the largest user of the Madrid System.
  • Applicants designated an average of around seven Madrid members per Madrid international application fi­led in 2016.
  • Almost two-thirds of all international applications ­filed in 2016 were used to designate up to ­five Madrid members.
  • ­The largest numbers of designations in Madrid applications were from the U.S., Germany and China.
  • Applicants from China tended to designate more Madrid members than those from other leading origins.
  • China was the most designated country in 2016, a position it has held for the past decade.
  • Over three-quarters of international applications ­filed in 2016 included up to three goods or services classes.
  • For more than a decade, the most specified class has been class 9, which includes computer hardware and software.
  • Research and technology accounted for the highest share of all ­filing activity via the Madrid System in 2016.
  • Madrid international registrations have doubled in the past decade and a half.
  • ­The long-term trend shows that subsequent designations have increased from about 26,000 in 2000 to almost 46,000 in 2016.
  • German holders were the most active in extending protection for their marks to other Madrid members in 2016.
  • Provisional refusals fell by 1.7% in 2016.
  • ­The U.S. and the Republic of Korea issued the largest numbers of provisional refusals of designations in 2016.
  • Renewals of international registrations approached 30,000 in 2016, marking the ­fifth consecutive year of growth.
  • Half of all renewals in 2016 came from Germany, France and Switzerland combined.
  • Germany, France, Switzerland and Italy were the origins of over 60% of all designations in renewals of international registrations in 2016.
  • Computer hardware and software, business services and pharmaceuticals are included in the top three classes in active Madrid registrations.
  • ­Three-quarters of international applications are now filed electronically.
  • On average less than 3% of all active registrations have had a change in ownership each year.
  • About 2,800 international registrations were canceled in part or entirely in 2016.
  • Total revenue collected by the International Bureau in 2016 amounted to about 60.1 million Swiss francs, down 8.8% from the previous year.
  • On average, holders paid 2,968 Swiss francs per registration recorded in 2016, down from the peak of 3,734 Swiss francs in 2008.

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.

2017-01-12
Entry into force of the eleventh edition of the Locarno Classification

A new edition of the international classification used for the purposes of the registration of industrial designs (Locarno Classification) will enter into force on January 1, 2017.

In conformity with its previous practice, the International Bureau of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) does not reclassify the products, which constitute an industrial design or in relation to which an industrial design is to be used, in the international registrations classified according to a previous edition.

The eleventh edition of the Locarno Classification will be available on the WIPO website from January 1, 2017, at the following address: http://www.wipo.int/classifications/locarno/en/

2017-01-09
Historic declaration to stop maritime shipping of counterfeit goods

Leaders from global shipping firms, freight forwarders, brand owners and industry organizations representing both industries signed a joint Declaration of Intent to Prevent the Maritime Transport of Counterfeit Goods on 30 November 2016 in Brussels.

It marks the first time the global shipping industry and brand owners have made a public commitment to work together to stop the transport of counterfeit goods on shipping vessels.

The non-binding Declaration acknowledges the "destructive impact" of counterfeits on international trade and includes a zero tolerance policy on counterfeiting, strict supply chain controls and other due diligence checks to stop business cooperation with those suspected of dealing in the counterfeit trade.

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

2016-12-13
New report on counterfeiting and piracy in the EU

The European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) has published its newest report on the latest research results from the European Observatory on Infringements of Intellectual Property Rights.

According to this study, over 7.4 % of sales are lost due to the presence of fakes in the EU market. The consequences are dangerous. About 83 billion euro and 790,000 jobs are lost every year across the EU due to counterfeiting and piracy. The most affected industries are cosmetics and personal care; clothing, footwear and accessories; sports goods; toys and games; jewellery and watches; handbags; recorded music; spirits and wine; and pharmaceuticals.

The European Observatory on Infringements of Intellectual Property Rights is a network of experts and specialist stakeholders. The Observatory`s objectives are to provide evidence-based contributions and data to enable EU policymakers to shape effective IP enforcement policies and to design campaigns to raise awareness of the value of IP and the negative consequences of IP infringement.

2016-11-10
Chisinau Startup Week

In the period from November 7-11, 2016 Chisinau is hosting the first edition of the Startup Week. This is a global initiative created to spur innovation and strengthen the entrepreneurial ecosystems of countries where the initiative is taking place. Startup Week brought together entrepreneurs, local leaders and potential partners aimed at providing participants with access to an extraordinary fusion of experience, knowledge, examples and impact models.

During the event, Tiganas & Partners lawyers have explained to the Moldova startups community on the protection of innovations and creativity, contractual relationships with authors, inventors and investors, infringement of the intellectual property rights and legal means of intervention.

Chisinau Startup Week is organized by the National Association of Companies from Information and Communications Technology Sector and Tekwill with the support of the Unite States Agency for International Development under the Project "Development of the Center of Excellence in the field of Information and Communications Technology".

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.

2016-08-05
Report on IPR Enforcement in Moldova

For the fourth consecutive year, National Observatory on Enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights has published the latest Report on IPR Enforcement in the Republic of Moldova, which represents the result of joint effort of several experts from public authorities.

The study ascertains the current situation of counterfeiting and piracy in Moldova, inclusive presents statistical and analytical data, establishes the evolution and the impact of counterfeiting and piracy, reviews the actions taken at national level to raise consumer awareness and to combat those phenomena.