Protection of intellectual property in Belarus
Protection of intellectual property in Belarus depends on the type of object to be protected. The following groups of objects may be distinguished:
- results of intellectual activity: works of science, literature and art; performances, phonograms and radio and television organizations; inventions, utility models, industrial designs; selection achievements; topographies of integrated circuits; production secrets (know-how); computer programs, databases;
- means of individualization of participants of civil circulation, goods, works or services: brand names; trademarks and service marks; geographical indications;
- other results of intellectual activity and means of individualization of participants of civil turnover, goods, works or services in cases provided by the Civil Code and other legal acts. It can be for example created video clips, brainboxes and even advertisements.
Some objects of intellectual property are protected in Belarus from the moment of fulfillment of a special procedure - obtaining a patent, registration of an industrial design, registration of a trademark, etc. Other objects of intellectual property are protected from the moment of their creation, for example, copyrights on information technology products.
Disputes in the field of copyright and information technology in Belarus.
Copyright protection, including IT products, should be taken into account even before its creation by concluding appropriate agreements with the authors. In addition, in Belarus it is possible to voluntarily register the right of the author, which is the basis for disputes about authorship or ownership of an intellectual property object. On the basis of such registration copyright transactions can be concluded. Registration of computer programs in the Republic of Belarus is performed by the National Center of Intellectual Property and is taken into account by the court as a proof of authorship.
However, if there is a dispute in court about the protection of intellectual property rights on IT-dispute, the following ways of judicial protection of copyrights in Belarus can be distinguished:
- Seizure of the material objects with which the exclusive right has been violated and the material objects created as a result of the violation;
- compulsory publication of information about the infringement indicating the owner of the infringed right;
- claim for damages;
- claim for damages of up to 500,000 euro;
- demand for the payment of penalties and damages;
- termination of use;
- compulsion to transfer the copyrighted object;
- confiscation and destruction of forgeries;
- any other way provided for in the Civil Code.
All intellectual property disputes in Belarus are referred to the Judicial Commission on Intellectual Property under the Supreme Court of the Republic of Belarus. The jurisdiction of this court is exclusive, i.e. even if the parties agree, they cannot transfer the dispute to another court, including a foreign one.
Law Firm «Economic Disputes» will help you in defending from infringements as well as provide you with all the judicial support in a copyright dispute. We are fluent in English, Polish, German, which will contribute to a pleasant and productive cooperation. In addition to judicial support in copyright disputes in Belarus, the law firm Economic Disputes assists in drafting copyright contracts, transferring and protecting copyrights, trademarks and service marks.
Comprehensive legal services in the field of information technologies in Belarus
Economic Dispute Law Firm has extensive experience in supporting IT companies. We assist in drafting contracts for creation and transfer of IT products, licensing agreements in Belarus, as well as provide human resources consulting for IT business.
Contract for creation of software, web-sites, games
Creation of web-sites according to one's own design, creation of computer games according to one's own conception as well as modification of existing software by third parties require legal registration. When entering into a contract for the creation of a copyrighted item in the field of information technology, it is necessary to determine
- subject matter: all functions of the future software, structure, content, design, programming language, databases, etc. must be described as thoroughly as possible. This is a requirement of not only Belarusian, but also international law;
- the author, the moral rights of the author, the order and scope of the transfer of copyright should be specified;
- indicate the scope of support (debugging, maintenance, training, modification, customization);
- conditions, warranty, liability, confidentiality;
- applicable law, the competent court.
The right to use the object of intellectual property on IT products in Belarus may be granted on the basis of a license agreement. We can develop an exclusive or non-exclusive license. Both of these licenses give the licensee the right to use the intellectual property object. However, in the case of a non-exclusive license the licensor may also grant such right to others. An exclusive license means that only the licensee can use the computer program. If the licensee transfers the right to the intellectual property, a sub-licensing agreement will have to be concluded. The rights transferred in such an agreement must not be broader than the rights granted to the licensee under the licensing agreement.
In many countries of the world a license may be revoked. In Belarus, licensors do not have such a right.
The licensing agreement in Belarus in the field of information technologies must specify at least the following terms and conditions:
- Subject matter of the agreement.
- The scope of the licensee's rights.
- Duration of the license.
- Territory of validity of the software license.
- Conditions of transfer of rights to licensees.
- Applicable law.
Activities on behalf of an employer
The product of work on behalf of an employer is a program created by an IT programmer at the request of the employer as part of the programmer's duties as defined in the employment contract.
To avoid disputes between the programmer and the employer according to the question: whether the program was created by the employee during work hours or his or her free time, the employer must clearly regulate the activities of the IT employee.
The documents that can formalize the creation of a computer program in Belarus are an employment contract, a job description, a list of works, an order for the development of the project and an agreement with the employee on the division of rights between the author and the employer. This list is not exhaustive and is not mandatory. The amount of documentation required in Belarus depends on the nature of the task assigned to the programmer.
It should be taken into account that the creator of the work always remains a person, and person will be the owner of the personal non-property rights, even in the case of the transfer of exclusive rights to the work to such persons. However, some non-property rights in Belarus may be limited by the employer (the right of disclosure, the right to withdraw the work, the right to modify the work). Other rights always remain with the author (right to authorship, right to a name).
Acquisition of a website, software
At the conclusion of this transaction it is necessary to stipulate:
- The object, cost, and terms of transfer.
- The procedure for transferring the transaction object and access keys.
- The procedure for transferring the owner's property rights, including exclusive and non-exclusive rights.
- Definition of the author himself and the scope of his rights.
- Domain name rights, trademark rights and verification of rights owners for all content on the site.
- Liability of parties, court jurisdiction, and applicable law.
Economic Disputes Law Firm's Scope of Competence
We support our clients with:
- Trademark and service mark disputes;
- Patent disputes;
- Disputes related to unauthorized use of software;
- Disputes concerning the quality of work performed;
- Disputes relating to illegal use of domain names, e-mail;
- Disputes concerning the conclusion, amendment, termination or invalidity of contracts;
- disputes related to copyrights, etc.
- Drawing up contracts relating to the creation and use of intellectual property in Belarus;
- Drawing up confidentiality agreements;
- Defending a party under distribution agreements, including registration of trademarks in the customs register of intellectual property objects;
- Protection of employer in connection with the development of software by employees.
- Professional advice on protection of intellectual property rights in Belarus.
- Negotiations, including mediation, for confidential resolution of IT conflicts.
Intellectual property registration
- Trademark registration in Belarus;
- Patent registration in Belarus;
- Registration of domain names in Belarus;
- Checking trademarks for similarity, etc.
- Registration of computer programs in the Republic of Belarus by the National Center of Intellectual Property.
We are fluent in English, German, Polish, Ukrainian, Belarusian and Russian and can provide you with top-level legal services in IT disputes in Belarus.
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