Intellectual property protection in Georgia
Patent registration in Georgia by Attorney
Definition and legal requirements to register a patent in Georgia
The Law of Georgia on Patents (LGP) defines a patent as a document issued in the name of the patent owner in accordance with the LGP, which confirms the exclusive rights of the patent owner from the moment of its issue. An invention can enjoy patent protection if it meets the requisite novelty, invention level and usefulness requirements. An invention is still classified as new if its technical characteristics became known to third parties during the 12-month period before the priority date (the date of filing the first application) under the following circumstances:
- Information was published by the inventor.
- Information was disclosed to a third party under a document that obliges such third party to keep the information confidential.
- Technical constraints became known to a third party because of an illegal action (due to an act of bad faith by the third party).
An invention is considered as useful if it can be manufactures or used in industry or agriculture.
Registration of patents in Goergia.
The LEPL National Center for Intellectual Property (Sakpatenti) is the authority responsible for patent registration
Enforcement and remedies
The patent owner is entitled to enforce its rights under the LGP. If no other remedies are available, they can request the elimination of the infringing goods or the equipment that is used for the manufacturing of such infringing goods. Different authorities will enforce the patent owner's rights based on the right-holder's request. The right-holder can prohibit others from:
- Manufacturing, selling, importing or otherwise putting products which enjoy patent protection into the public domain.
- Using patented methods while manufacturing goods.
- Selling, importing, exporting or otherwise putting goods manufactured via patented methods into the public domain.
In the case of infringements, rights-holders can apply to the court to enforce their rights.
A compulsory non-exclusive, non-transferrable licence may be issued on the subject of patent within the territory of Georgia without consent of the patent holder in consideration for a commercially acceptable compensation in cases of natural disasters, for the purposes of self-defence or protecting the health of society, as well as in cases where the subject of the patent cannot be used without violating special rights of a holder of a patent to an earlier invention/useful model.
Length of protection of the patent in Georgia
The rights-holder can enjoy patent protection for 20 years following the submission of its application to Sakpatenti. Patent validity of an invention related to medical products or means of protection of plants, which requires the consent of a competent authority for entry into the Georgian market, can be extended by request of the patent owner. They can ask for an additional term which corresponds to the period from the date of application to Sakpatenti, but can be granted for no longer than five years.
Trademarks in Georgia
Definition and legal requirements to register Trademark in Georgia
Under the Law of Georgia on Trademarks (LGT) a trade mark is a symbol or combination of symbols that is shown graphically and enables the products or services of one enterprise to be distinguished from the similar products of another company. The symbol can be a word(s) (including names), letters, figures, sounds, a design or a three-dimensional figure, including the shape of goods or their wrapping and also other packaging, including colours or a combination of colours.
Protection of Trademark in Georgia
The trade mark owner can enjoy trade mark protection by virtue of its registration at the Sakpatenti, or through an international agreement. Therefore, the use of a trade mark cannot be precluded unless it is duly registered as a trade mark with the Sakpatenti or in accordance with international registration procedures.
Georgian law does not recognise mechanisms that are similar to common law protection of unregistered trade marks. Therefore, even though the trade mark can be used without being registered, third parties cannot be precluded from using the same trade mark, unless it is duly registered. Similarly, a mark may be protected as the commonly recognised trade mark. However, only the Georgian courts or the Chamber of Appeals of Sakpatenti are authorised to recognise the trade mark as it is commonly known.
Enforcement and remedies.
The trade mark owner can prevent the unauthorised use of a mark that is likely to cause confusion for customers. The trade mark owner may have remedies under civil, administrative and criminal law. The trade mark owner can:
- Demand that the infringing party cease and desist from infringing its trade mark.
- Request the elimination of the infringing goods.
- Request compensation of damages.
Length of protection and renewability of Trademark in Georgia
The trade mark will be initially protected through registration at Sakpatenti for a ten-year period. This can be extended for additional ten-year periods unlimited times. However, if the trade mark owner does not use their registered trade mark for services and/or goods, then any interested party can request the court to cancel the respective registration.
Registered designs in Georgia
Definition Registered designs
A design is the appearance of the whole or part of a product that results from its features, in particular, lines, contours, colours, shape, texture and/or material of the product, and/or its decoration. A product is any industrial or handicraft item, including (among others) packaging, graphical symbols and typographical fonts (excluding computer programs that are intended to be assembled into a complex product). A design can be protected by virtue of its registration only if it involves novelty and a level of creativity (individuality).
Registration of Registered designs in Georgia
Exclusive rights on a design are created on registration with the Sakpatenti from the date of filing the application.
Enforcement and remedies
The design holder can exploit the design at their disposal. The design holder also has the right to sell or otherwise alienate the design, and issue a private licence under the established rule. Design registration provides the design holder with exclusive rights to authorise or prohibit the manufacture, sale, and advertising for sale, use, import, export or storage of the product.
The design holder can apply to the court for the protection of their design rights in accordance with the specific law. The design holder may request from the court the elimination of any goods or advertising materials that may infringe their design rights as well as request damages.
Length of protection and renewability of Trademarks in Georgia
The applicant is authorised to register a design with Sakpatenti for one or more periods of five years, but not for more than 25 years from the date of filing the application with Sakpatenti.
Georgian legislation does not recognise unregistered design rights.
Copyright protection in Georgia
Definition and legal requirements to protect Copyright in Georgia
In Georgia, copyrights and adjacent rights, or scientific, literary and artistic works, which are the result of intellectual and creative activity (whatever their purpose, value, genre, size, mode or form of expression) can enjoy copyright protection. Only works that exist in a tangible form are protected. Ideas, methods, processes, systems, means, concepts, principles, discoveries and facts, even if they are expressed, described, explained, illustrated or embodied in a tangible form do not enjoy copyright protection.
Protection of Copyright in Georgia
Works enjoy copyright protection on creation, and registration is not required. However, a copyright owner may submit (deposit) a work of authorship to Sakpatenti. Software is explicitly protected by copyright on its creation, because it is considered a work of authorship.
Enforcement and remedies.
A copyright owner can prohibit others from copying, importing, selling and publicly displaying their work of authorship. A copyright owner will be entitled to receive a fee from any third party that uses their work. The author may seek damages under civil, administrative and criminal laws. Therefore, the author can request direct damages and loss of profit from the infringer.
Length of protection and renewability of Copyright in Georgia
Generally, a work of authorship is entitled to copyright protection on its creation and remains effective 70 years after the death of the author.
Our group of experienced and qualified attorneys in Tbilisi will consult you in regard with Intellectual Property Law regulations in Georgia - namely: patents, copyrights, trademarks, logos, designs and trade names. We will assist you in negotiating franchising and licensing agreements and contracts for the transfer or acquisition of technology. Representing clients before trademark and patent agents and state offices of Georgia. Representing clients in IP disputes and litigations.