The Experience of the Republic of Moldova on the Legal Protection of Industrial Design, to the Attention of WIPO Member States

10/31/2017

The 38th session of the Standing Committee of the World Intellectual Property Organization on the Law of Trademarks, Industrial Designs and Geographical Indications (SCT/38 Committee) takes place from October 30 to November 2, 2017, in Geneva.

The agenda of the current session of the SCT Committee includes several topics related to the protection of industrial designs, particularly with regard to the graphical user interface (GUI), icon and typeface/type font designs; protection of country names against registration and use as trademarks; trademark and domain name system, as well as topics related to the system of protection of geographical indications.

More than 200 representatives from 90 WIPO Member States and 25 international governmental and non-governmental organizations participate in the Committee.

The Republic of Moldova is represented by Simion Levitchi, Head of AGEPI Trademarks and Industrial Design Department, Maria Rojnevschi, Head of AGEPI Promotion and External Relations Department and Marin Cebotari, Counselor, Deputy Permanent Representative of the Permanent Representation of the Republic of Moldova to the UN Office in Geneva.

The Chairman of the Committee is Adil El Maliki, Director General of the Moroccan Industrial and Commercial Property Office. In the position of vice-chairmen of the SCT Committee have been re-confirmed Simion Levitchi, Head of AGEPI Trademarks and Industrial Design Department, Republic of Moldova and Alfredo Carlos Rendon Algara, Deputy Director General of the Mexican Institute of Industrial Property, elected to this position at the 37th session of the Committee of March 2017.

At the opening of the SCT/38 Committee, the Director General of WIPO, Francis Gurry mentioned the importance of the current meeting of the Committee for completing works on the text of the Design Law Treaty (DLT), and urged Member States to be as constructive as possible to find a balanced and agreed by all solution with reference to the inclusion in the treaty of the technical assistance provisions necessary for the implementation of the future treaty and the inclusion of the source disclosure requirement in the text of the treaty. The Director General of WIPO noted that the drafting of the Design Law Treaty (DLT) is a priority and will be included on the Agenda of the WIPO General Assembly in 2018.

In accordance with the agenda of the SCT/38 Committee on 31 October 2017, an Information Session on Industrial Designs Associated to New Technologies (SCT/IS/ID/GE/17) was organized. At the invitation of WIPO, Simion Levitchi, Head of AGEPI Trademarks and Industrial Design Department, presented the Republic of Moldova’s experience with reference to the protection of industrial design, namely “Protection of Graphical User Interfaces (GUI), Icons in the Republic of Moldova”.

The Head of AGEPI Trademarks and Industrial Design Department has informed Member States about the existing national normative and legislative framework in this area, practical examples in the field of examination of applications relating to the protection of graphical user interfaces (GUI), icons, and the possibility of accessing this information in the national database accessible on the AGEPI website. He also mentioned the work done in 2017 for the purpose of integrating information from the AGEPI database “Industrial Designs” in DesignView, created and managed by the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) and integrating information from the AGEPI database “Trademarks” in TMview, created and managed by EUIPO.

At the same time, the results of a study by the WIPO Secretariat on Member States’ practice on the protection of industrial design associated with new technologies, which is useful to both users (companies) because in most Member States is provided the protection of GUI, icons, and to IP offices since taking into account the legal provisions that allow the protection of GUI, icons and the development of new technologies, this will lead to an increase in the number of industrial design protection applications.

Considering the importance of information sessions for addressing practical issues and taking on the experience of states in certain areas, the EU delegation proposed the organization at the meeting of the SCT/39 Committee (semester I, 2018) of an Information Session on the protection of country names against registration and use as trademarks. This proposal has been supported by several Member States, including the Republic of Moldova.

In its official statements, the CEBS Group, including some Central and South Eastern European and Baltic States (CEBS) including the Republic of Moldova, reiterated the need to convene the Diplomatic Conference for the Adoption of a DLT Treaty.

With regard to the protection of geographical indications, Member States have examined the proposal by the delegation of the USA with reference to the development of a study that would reflect the practice of states on the protection of geographical indications; the joint proposal by the delegations of Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Spain and Switzerland on the protection of geographical indications and country names in the Domain Name System and the proposal by the delegation of France for a study on the protection of geographical indications in national systems and the protection of geographical indications on the Internet.

The CEBS Group has advocated the need to develop a balanced work program on the protection of geographical indications without prejudice to the Lisbon Agreement and the Geneva Act. The CEBS Group also supported the proposal by the Chairman of the SCT session to draw up a questionnaire on national and regional practices in the field of protection of geographical indications, topics related to the protection of geographical indications on the Internet and protection of geographical indications and country names in the Domain Name System.

The full agenda of the SCT/38 Committee can be accessed at http://www.wipo.int/meetings/en/details.jsp?meeting_id=42303).