Following the Russian invasion of Ukraine on 24 February 2022, the parliament of Ukraine passed several laws that have a significant impact on the protection of intellectual property (“IP”) rights during martial law:
1. On 1 April 2022, the Ukrainian Parliament adopted the Law "On Protection of Persons' Interests in Intellectual Property during the Martial Law, imposed in connection with the military aggression of the Russian Federation against Ukraine" No. 2174-IX which came into force on 13 April 2022. The law stipulates that the terms for the acquisition and protection of IP rights are suspended for the entire period of martial law in Ukraine and applies to all holders of IP rights, including foreign holders of IP rights in Ukraine.
The Law No. 2174-IX provides the following:
- all IP rights remain in force for the duration of martial law as well as all documents certifying the occurrence of IP rights;
- terms for performing actions related to the protection of IP rights are suspended;
- terms regarding the procedures for the acquisition of IP rights are suspended;
- the possibility for authorised persons to submit any necessary documentation (e.g. applications, petitions, objections, responses, etc.) within 90 days from the date of the abolition of martial law without payment of fees for the restoration or extension of the relevant terms.
All terms will be reinforceable on the day following the day on which martial law is cancelled, considering the period elapsed before 24 February 2022.
2. On 19 June 2022, the Ukrainian Parliament adopted the Law of Ukraine "On Amendments to Certain Laws of Ukraine on Support of the National Music Product and Restriction of Public Use of the Music Product of the Aggressor State" No. 2310-IX. The law strictly prohibits public performances, displays, demonstrations, notification of phonograms, videograms and music clips that contain a recorded performance of a musical non-dramatic work with lyrics by a person who is or was, in any period after 1991, a citizen of the Russian Federation. This provision excludes former citizens of Russia who are or were, at the time of death, citizens of Ukraine.
It also provides for the establishment of a list of Russian performers/singers who condemn the aggression against Ukraine and to whom the provisions of this Law shall not apply.
3. On 22 May 2022, the Ukrainian Parliament adopted the Law of Ukraine "About prohibition of promotion of the Russian Nazi totalitarian regime, the armed aggression of the Russian Federation as the states terrorists against Ukraine, symbolics of the Russian military invasion of Nazi totalitarian regime in Ukraine" No. 2265-IX. The law aims to prohibit:
- propaganda of the Russian Federation;
- armed aggression of the Russian Federation against Ukraine;
- Russian military symbols resembling the Latin letters "Z" and "V" without a legal context or in the context of justifying armed aggression against Ukraine and other military actions; and
- the replacement of these letters with the Cyrillic letters "З","С","В","Ф" or other letters in separate words with visual emphasis on these letters.
This prohibition applies to the display of these letters in any trademarks which applied for registration after 24 February 2022.
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