Belarus might have acceded to the Singapore Treaty on the Law of Trademarks, and improved the patent application process but the should take further steps to implement an effective intellectual property rights (IPR) enforcement regime, the Office of the US Trade Representative says in an annual report.
“The United States remains concerned about Belarus’ implementation of the IPR commitments made under the United States-Belarus Trade Relations Agreement of 1993. Piracy and counterfeiting remain widespread in Belarus, and IPR enforcement efforts continue to be weak and ineffective. The United States continues to urge Belarus to enact all regulations necessary to implement the amendments to the Belarusian Criminal and Administrative Codes related to IPR that have been pending since 2011, and to implement fully the WIPO Internet Treaties,” the report says.
The United States also encourages Belarus to harmonize its IPR regime with the regulatory principles adopted under the Customs Union established with Kazakhstan and Russia. According to the report, Belarus should work with these countries to ensure that the Customs Union principles are executed in a manner that most effectively protects IPR and create the required unified trademark registry: “For example, Belarus should implement and exercise the Customs Union Customs Code provisions on ex officio authority for customs officials in order to improve the investigation of suspected infringement cases, seizure of infringing goods, and prosecution of IPR violations”.
The United States will continue to monitor Belarus’ progress on these and other matters.