Presentation of the Report «Promoting and Protecting Intellectual Property in Ukraine»

On June 25, 2014 the event, co-organized by the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) and its business initiative “Business Action to Stop Counterfeiting and Piracy” (BASCAP), Ukrainian National Committee of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC Ukraine) and the State Intellectual Property Service of Ukraine, was held in Kyiv at the National News Agency “Ukrinform”. During this event the Report outlining the value of IP in Ukraine was presented to the Ukraine’s government officials. The report titled “Promoting and Protecting Intellectual Property in Ukraine” was produced by ICC/BASCAP specifically for the Ukrainian Government. The event was attended by Mykhailo Kunytsky, Director of the Department of Development of Trade of the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade of Ukraine, Mykola Kovinya, Head of the State IP Service of Ukraine, Volodymyr Mykhailov, Secretary General of ICC Ukraine, Stanislav Frolov, Director of the State Enterprise ‘Ukrainian Institute of Industrial Property’,John Anderson, the Chairman of the Global Anti-Counterfeiting Group (GACG), Rosella Mangion, Representative of the INTERPOL General Secretariat, as well as the representatives of the other Ukraine’s institutions involved in protection of IP rights in Ukraine.

The report was presented by Jeffrey P. Hardy, Director of BASCAP, and Antonina Pakharenko-Anderson, Coordinator of BASCAP initiative in Ukraine / Vice-President of ICC Ukraine on intellectual property issues/ President of the Ukraine Alliance Against Counterfeiting and Piracy (UAACP). Antonina Pakharenko-Anderson was also the moderator of the event, in the course of which Jeffrey Hardy officially handed over the copies of the Report to Mykhailo Kunytsky and Mykola Kovinia.

In his presentation of the Report Jeffrey P. Hardy went into details of the structure of the document describing the role that the IP plays in the Ukraine’s economic development and growth. In particular, it is stated in the report that the time is right for Ukraine to advance its IP rights protection regime that is also emphasized by the country’s international trade partners. In order to facilitate the necessary reforms, the report contains the concrete policy and legislative recommendations aimed to serve as the strategic plan to move forward. Summing up his presentation, Jeffrey P. Hardy said: “There is no doubt that the Ukrainian Government understands how tight is the link between the level of protection of intellectual property rights and the future of the country. We are very happy to learn that the Ukrainian Government drafted the national strategy of the development if intellectual property and has openly accepted our recommendations, so I believe that they will prove useful indeed. It is important that the highest officials of the Ukrainian Government will become familiar with the report. Eventually, it must be noted that these recommendations are just the first step, and the most important thing is the Ukraine’s Government’s willingness to cooperate with the business in the course of putting them in practice.

Antonina Pakharenko-Anderson was another speaker presenting the Report in which it was repeatedly stated that there is a close link between effectiveness of the protection of intellectual property rights and the country’s economic performance. The level of IPR protection has a substantial impact on the economic figures, the FDI, employment, innovations and the overall competitiveness in each country. To this effect, the implementation of the strong regime of IP protection and enforcement is a crucial element for the country to reach its economic potential. An important part of Antonina’s presentation was outlining the BASCAP recommendations (politic and legislative) before the Ukrainian Government. In particular, the legislative recommendations relate to addressing deficiencies in criminal IP law and procedures, improving action against Internet infringements, addressing inadequacies in civil enforcement procedures, addressing legal deficiencies of IP protection regime, improving administrative and customs enforcement procedures. Political recommendations include improving coordination among enforcement authorities in addressing counterfeiting and piracy, including among the police, judiciary and Customs, establishing effective dialogue and cooperation between Ukrainian authorities, IP rights holders and other stakeholders, expanding IP-related administrative and technical capacity building, increase awareness of counterfeiting and piracy and the associated economic and social harm among policy makers and the general public. According to the conclusions of the report, combating counterfeiting and piracy must become a public policy priority. “This effort must start with the Ukrainian government sending a clear message to the criminal networks and those involved in counterfeiting and piracy that this activity will no longer be tolerated and that implementation of stricter IP laws will involve stricter penalties’ – Mrs. Pakharenko-Anderson summed up.

Mykhailo Kunytsky spoke about Ukraine’s urgent need to develop the public policy aimed at the use of intellectual property as a strategic resource in the system of shaping both the national wealth and advancing the competitiveness of our country, acceleration of its innovation development and integration into the international economic environment. In his opinion, recommendations contained in the Report, may be helpful in developing the draft National Strategy of the development of the field of intellectual property in Ukraine. Mr. Kunytsky thanked ICC and personally to Mr. Hardy for producing this report dedicated to the Ukrainian Government and expressed his hope that public-private partnership will bring its results and will help to make our country competitive on the international market of goods and services.

Rosella Mangion outlined the Interpol’s views on the importance of fighting IP crime through strengthening legal frameworks and processes in order to be effective. She is convinced that the role of organised criminal networks in counterfeiting and pirating activity is huge and thus international cooperation in targeting and suppressing organised criminal activity in IP crime and across many criminal sectors is of crucial importance. “The BASCAP Report is a timely and necessary assessment of the current framework providing significant and detailed recommendations for the way forward. INTERPOL is available to provide assistance to our member country, Ukraine, as and when required.” said Rosella Mangion.

Mykola Kovinia expressed his gratitude to ICC, BASCAP, ICC Ukraine and personally to Jeffrey Hardy, Rosella Mangion and Antonina Pakharenko-Anderson saying that today Ukraine had already made its first step towards the membership in the European Union, and the State IP Service of Ukraine is actively working on implementation of the EU norms in the national legislation. Certainly, intellectual property and should be one of the strategically important sectors of the country’s economy. He promised to thoroughly study the materials provided by BASCAP and make the maximum possible use of these materials to advance the role of intellectual property as an instrument boosting innovations, technology transfer and industrial competitiveness that are crucial factors of the Ukraine’s economic growth, success and recognition at the international scene.

In conclusion of the event Volodymyr Mykhailov, speaking on behalf of the Ukrainian National Committee of the ICC, outlined the role of ICC Ukraine in providing the input for the Report and expressed his hope that this study will prove useful to the Ukrainian Government.

Before the event started and after its conclusion all the participants could have a chat in the informal atmosphere, discuss the problematic and thorny issues over a mug of coffee. All the attendees could also view and touch the samples of counterfeit goods from the “Museum of counterfeits” organized by the UAACP, and to receive the copy of the report produced by ICC/BASCAP as well as the other educational materials related to combating counterfeiting and piracy.

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