Ganna Prokhorova and Oleksandr Mamunya of Mamunya IP have published a newsletter explaining how the war in Ukraine has affected activities at the Ukrainian Patent and Trademark Office (UAPTO), Customs service and the courts.
Deadlines for office proceedings, renewals and reinstatement are currently suspended because of a martial law which became effective on April 13, according to Prokhorova and Mamunya. They added: "[I]f paying a retention/annuity fees is due during the martial law, it will be allowed to pay those within 90 days after the end of the martial law."
Civil and commercial cases and access to the court's online systems remain suspended. Parties to .ua domain name disputes are advised to contact the WIPO Artbitration and Mediation Centre if they are unable to meet deadlines.
The Customs service is operating "without any limitations" but confiscated goods will be used to support the military and civilians. Government ministers can now decide which goods to prioritise for customs checks and "the terms of registration of IPRs in the Customs IP Registry are extended automatically".
Read the firm’s April newsletter here.
They say the Ukrainian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (UCCI) published a letter which concluded that the declaration of martial law is a force majeure event which affects deadlines.
Prokhorova and Mamunya, however, warn that the UCCI’s letter “does not mean automatic suspension of deadlines in all kinds of proceedings pending in courts and state bodies”.
The UAPTO is still open for business, but its appeals chamber deals with proceedings in writing. Although IP rights can be restored, they advise IP owners and their representatives to adhere to the UAPTO’s deadlines because it is not yet clear how it would interpret UCCI’s letter. “[U]nless UAPTO officially [suspends] its operations, we recommend adhering [to] the deadlines."
According to Prokhorova and Mamunya, “civil and commercial cases have been temporarily suspended” and "only [a] few Ukrainian courts work". They said the UCCI’s letter and martial law could be used as a “ground for renewing missed procedural deadlines”.
Domain names disputes for the .ua domain are not affected. The Customs service is still functioning, but Prokhorova and Mamunya do not believe IP enforcement actions would be prioritised.
Read the firm’s March newsletter here.