The Protocol on Kazakhstan's accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO) was signed in Geneva on 27 July 2015. In consideration of the accession, Kazakhstan has made specific commitments in 10 different sectors, including intellectual property. As an example, Kazakhstan committed to implement fully the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) as of the date of accession.
TRIPS is an international agreement administered by the WTO that sets down minimum standards for many forms of intellectual property regulation. TRIPS remains the most comprehensive international agreement on intellectual property to date.
Specifically, TRIPS requires that the protection and enforcement of all intellectual property rights shall meet the objectives of contributing to the promotion of technological innovation and to the transfer and dissemination of technology, to the mutual advantage of producers and users of technological knowledge and in a manner conducive to social and economic welfare, and to a balance of rights and obligations.
In order to bring Kazakhstan legislation into conformity with the provisions of TRIPS, a draft Law on Amendments to Some Legislative Acts of the Republic of Kazakhstan in Connection with the Accession to the World Trade Organization was presented to the Majilis of the RK Parliament in June 2015. It is planned that the following legislative acts in the area of intellectual property will be amended:
1. The RK Civil Code (special part), the RK Administrative Code and the RK Trademark Law: amendments that provide for liability in case counterfeit goods are detected, trademarks are removed, goods are destroyed, except for cases where the right holder requests the transfer of such goods;
3. The RK Health Code: amendments that provide for requirements prohibiting the disclosure of information use in the registration of an original pharmaceutical: an applicant for registration of an original pharmaceutical will be provided a period of six (6) years within which no other pharmaceutical containing the new chemical substances may be registered with a reference to the testing data and other inside information developed by the applicant of the original pharmaceutical.
The RK Parliament is expected to ratify the accession documents by 31 October 2015. Kazakhstan will become a fully-fledged member 30 days after it notifies the WTO of the ratification.
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