After years of negotiations the Agrochemical Committee of the European Business Association finally received an encouraging reaction from the Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources to its proposal to ensure due protection of intellectual property rights in the agrochemical sector of Ukraine.
Following multiple appeals, meetings, discussions and efforts of EBA Agrochemical Committee, on 20 October 2011 the Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources of Ukraine has finally agreed to consider a possibility of amending a set of documents required for registration of agrochemicals so that to make sure IPRs of other patent holders are duly protected.
Background: Each year the number of agrochemicals violating intellectual property rights keeps growing in Ukraine. Active ingredients, which violate intellectual property rights, are registered by the Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources of Ukraine in accordance with the effective legislation of Ukraine. For the time being, the legislation does not constitute any impediments for registration of such formulations. In line with the best world’s practices, it is impossible to use patent-protected active ingredients without permission of a respective patent holder.
According to the provisions of Article 41 of “The Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights” (TRIPS), Ukraine must assure that “…its national legislation contains such procedures for the realisation of intellectual property rights … that allow to resort to efficient actions directed against any violation of the intellectual property right…”. In addition, considerable attention is paid to the issue of intellectual property rights protection, in particular, protection of patent rights, in Part V of the Report of the Working Group for Matters of Ukraine’s Accession to the World Trade Organization: “Trade-Related Aspects of the Legal Treatment of Intellectual Property”.
It should be admitted that notwithstanding the existence of an apparently adequate normative and legal framework regulating intellectual property rights protection in Ukraine, this legislation does not actually work in practice, in particular, in the agrochemical sector, which looks rather discouraging to potential investors. Therefore, EBA Agrochemical Committee made a number of various proposals aimed at resolving the problem, starting from amending the Law of Ukraine “On Pesticides and Agrochemicals” to regulate the procedure for destroying fake agrochemicals to improving the mechanism of protecting IPRs for patent-protected objects.
The Agrochemical Committee brought this problem to the knowledge of the Prime Minister of Ukraine, the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade, the Ministry of Agrarian Policy and Food of Ukraine, the Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources of Ukraine and other relevant stakeholders.
Finally, following multiple efforts of Agrochemical Committee’s Members, on 20 October 2011 the Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources of Ukraine arranged a joint meeting with participation of the European Business Association, the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade, the Ministry of Finance of Ukraine, the Ministry of Health Care of Ukraine and the State Ecological Inspection of Ukraine, where the issue was approached and studied from different angles and a compromise was found. All participants agreed that the best and quickest way is to amend the existing set of registration documents. The participants of this constructive dialogue also discussed another option for solving the issue at the stage of import licensing through joining efforts of the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade and the Ministry of Agrarian Policy and Food of Ukraine.
The European Business Association is happy to share this progress with its members and will continue its close cooperation with the above executive bodies to take decisive actions aimed at developing civilized market economy through ensuring efficient IPR protection in Ukraine.