Building bridges in Kazakhstan

The first IP Dialogue in Almaty, Kazakhstan, conducted on September 26 under the aegis of the International Trademark Association (INTA) and hosted by INTA local member Bolotov & Partners with the support of Dmitriy Markanov, Chair of INTA Anticounterfeiting Committee, laid the foundation of a cooperative relationship with key stakeholders in this country.

The event offered a constructive platform for candid discussions on the best regional practices in combating the illegal circulation of industrial products, protecting the market from counterfeits, as well as protecting the rights of brand owners and consumers.

The welcoming speech was delivered by Balayim Kesebayeva (Justice Department of Almaty city, Kazakhstan) and Yuri Bolotov (Bolotov & Partners). The latter also further made a presentation on linguistic aspects of trademarks and moderated one of the panel sessions. The other panel sessions were moderated by Rafael Garutti, Dmitriy Markanov, and Zhanat Nurmagambetov. Tat-Tienne Louembe as INTA’s Chief Representative Officer Europe and Intergovernmental Organizations presented the Association and briefed the participants on its global objectives, whereas Dmitriy Markanov gave an update on INTA Anticounterfeiting Committee activities.

Speakers included representatives of the Department of State Revenues of Almaty city (Kazakhstan), CRPT TURON (Uzbekistan), Association of the operators of smoking mixtures (Kazakhstan), Union of patent attorneys (Kazakhstan), as well as regional brand owners from various industries including toys represented by Anastasia Kuznetsova (Lego), member of INTA Anticounterfeiting Committee, bearings, e-commerce, and legal practitioners.

The IP Dialogue was also an opportunity to hear from the Kazakh National Institute of Intellectual Property (NIIP, or KazPatent) about their efforts in improving the legislative arsenal to booster IP protection in the country. Representative Tatiana Gorbunova also highlighted KazPatent’s current areas of focus and their perspectives on NFTs and the future of class 9.

Rafael Garutti, INTA International Classification Subcommittee, who was a moderator of this panel session, presented INTA’s position calling for improvement of the Nice Classification by restructuring Class 9, further clarifying the background of this project.

Parallelly, the Chair of INTA Emerging Issues Committee Barbara Porcario reaffirmed the Association’s thought leadership on emerging issues and provided a deeper dive into INTA’s White Papers on Trademarks in the Metaverse and Non-Fungible Tokens (link to the papers to be included).

It was acknowledged that holding continued regional dialogues on a broad range of IP-related topics and an open channel to weigh in would be beneficial to all, which would positively affect the IP protection system in this country. INTA will continue to be a strong advocate of trademark and related IP rights in Kazakhstan and will continue to endeavor to provide and further develop a platform where stakeholders may communicate.