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As consumers and lawyers dealing with intellectual property infringement cases, we are daily confronted with the fact that many pharmaceutical companies (independent legal entities and representative offices of foreign companies) operate in Uzbekistan to promote and sell their own products. pharmaceuticals and those of third parties in the local market. market.
With such a density of companies in the market, the number of legal disputes regarding the use of brand names of pharmaceutical drugs and their counterfeit versions and therefore the number of disputes adjudicated by the economic courts of Uzbekistan continues to increase. increase.
In our experience, more often than not, brand owners seek to end the illegal use of pharmaceutical brands (trade names) and prohibit the import and sale of the affected pharmaceutical product and remove it from pharmacies.
As you know, marketing authorization must be obtained from the General Directorate of Quality Control of Pharmaceutical Drugs and Medical Equipment of the Ministry of Public Health of the Republic of Uzbekistan (the “Pharmaceutical Committee” ) for the drug concerned in order to start selling it in pharmacies.
The marketing authorization certifies that the competent government body has authorized the use of the drug in Uzbekistan; however, it cannot prohibit third parties from using a trademark or trade name that may be confused with the original in commercial transactions.
In other words, registration of a pharmaceutical drug with the Pharmaceutical Committee does not grant the manufacturer or distributor any exclusive right to use the trade name of the drug.
According to applicable laws, the exclusive right is the right of the trademark owner to own, use and dispose of the relevant registered trademark in any legitimate manner, including prohibiting others from using the trademark.
Exclusive rights to a mark are deemed to be infringed if the mark or goods bearing the mark are produced, imported, offered for sale, sold and otherwise used. unauthorized in connection with commercial transactions or storage or if a mark which could lead to confusion with the mark is used in respect of like goods.
Exclusive rights to use a trademark can be obtained through registration as a trademark or industrial design of the pharmaceutical drug concerned or products related to its appearance (containers, vials, packaging, etc.), in which case the corresponding application must be submitted to the Agency for Intellectual Property of the Republic of Uzbekistan (the “Uzbek API”).
The table below compares the degrees of legal protection offered by registering a pharmaceutical drug with the Uzbek Pharmaceutical Committee and registering a trademark and industrial design with the Uzbek IPA:
|No.||State registration of a pharmaceutical drug with the Pharmaceutical Committee||State registration of a trade name of a pharmaceutical drug (brand name) or a container or package as a trademark in the Uzbek IPA||State registration of a pharmaceutical drug container or package as an industrial design in Uzbek IPA|
|1.Regulations relating to the registration and protection of intellectual property||1. Law of the Republic of Uzbekistan “On pharmaceutical drugs and pharmaceutical activities” of April 25, 1997;
2. Regulations on the procedure for registration of pharmaceutical drugs and medical products and issuance of marketing authorizations, approved by Order of the Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic of Uzbekistan No. 352 of December 22 2014.
|1. Law of the Republic of Uzbekistan “On Trademarks, Service Marks and Names of Places of Origin of Goods” dated August 30, 2001;
2. Rules for execution, submission and examination of applications for registration of trademarks and service marks, registered with the Uzbek Ministry of Justice under number 1988 on July 29, 2009.
|1. Law of the Republic of Uzbekistan “On Inventions, Useful Models and Industrial Designs” of August 29, 2002;
2. Rules for the execution, filing and examination of patent applications of
the Republic of Uzbekistan for industrial designs, registered with the Uzbek Ministry of Justice under number 1361 on May 20, 2004.
|2.Benefits of registration||1. This registration is mandatory;
2. Permission to use the pharmaceutical drug in the Republic of Uzbekistan.
|1. Grants exclusive rights (rights to import, use, sell and store; prohibition of use by third parties, etc.).
2. Permits the Owner to prohibit third parties (including competitors) from using, with respect to similar products and services, any pharmaceutical drug name that may be confusingly similar to the trademark;
3. Protects products against copying and counterfeiting by unscrupulous competitors;
4. The certificate is issued for 10 years and can be renewed thereafter.
|1. Protects the appearance design of the pharmaceutical drug (container or package).
2. Allows the owner to prohibit third parties from using similar containers and packaging in all fields and industries.
|3. Details of registration||Compared to trademark registration
– does not authorize the owner to prohibit third parties from using the name of the pharmaceutical drug and similar names for similar products;
– does not prevent third parties from registering other pharmaceutical drugs with the same or similar names.
The MA is issued for 5 years.
|Compared to the registration of pharmaceutical drugs
– does not authorize the use of the pharmaceutical drug concerned for medical purposes.
Compared to the registration of the industrial design
– the protection only applies to groups of registered products and services.
|Compared to trademark registration
– protection is granted only in respect of identical elements and does not apply to elements similar to the original which may lead to confusion (however, substantially similar elements may still be covered);
– the protection is only valid for a certain period (15 years maximum).
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide on the subject. Specialist advice should be sought regarding your particular situation.
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