As part of the reform of the IP sector, the creation of the Higher Court on IP Matters (Higher IP Court) is underway in Ukraine. Although the court was formally established in 2017, it is only now in the process of being formed. Around 200 candidates, among which are acting judges, attorneys at law and patent attorneys, will soon be competing for 21 vacancies for Higher IP Court judge.
The jurisdiction of the Higher IP Court as a first instance court covers a broad spectrum of IP and unfair competition disputes, including those regarding:
• various IP rights such as patents, designs, trademarks, commercial names, copyright and related rights, including prior use rights;
• registration and cancellation of IP rights;
• recognition of a trademark as well known;
• conclusion, amendment, termination and fulfilment of agreements regarding IP rights and franchising agreements; and
• unfair competition matters such as unlawful use of another's designation; copying of another's trade dress; collection, disclosure and use of commercial secrets; and challenges to decisions of the Anti-monopoly Committee of Ukraine in relation to the foregoing.
Within the Higher IP Court, the Chamber of Appeals will consider appeals against judgments made by the court at first instance. A judgment made by the court and/or its Chamber of Appeals may be further challenged by filing a cassation claim with the Supreme Court of Ukraine.
Upon formation, the Higher IP Court will consider the abovementioned disputes according to the procedural rules set forth in the Commercial Procedural Code of Ukraine, which generally applies to disputes involving legal entities and individual entrepreneurs. Both at first instance and on appeal, matters will be heard by a board of three judges.
It is expected that the Higher IP Court will start operating this year, and that it will help to reduce timeframes and increase the level of professionalism in the resolution of IP disputes.