On April 15, 2023, two new enforcement instruments were introduced in Kyrgyzstan:
- 1. Kyrgyzpatent received guidelines for conducting inspections and initiating administrative proceedings. In collaboration with BrandMonitor, these guidelines were successfully implemented in three raids, resulting in fines for counterfeit sellers.
Previously: Kyrgyzpatent possessed the authority to conduct inspections and raids, but the absence of guidelines and regulations rendered them ineffective.
Now: With guidelines and regulations in place, three raids were carried out in a single day, yielding successful outcomes.
- 2. Amendments were made to the Civil Code.
Previously: Brands could only recover losses caused by counterfeiting, which was challenging to prove and rendered the instrument ineffective.
Now: Compensation can be claimed without the need to prove losses. The instrument becomes effective, and risks for counterfeit traders increase.
On April 15, 2023, the Kyrgyz Republic enacted Law No. 70 "On Trademarks, Service Marks, Geographical Indications, and Appellations of Origin," which simplified the process for rights holders to recover compensation for infringements of their exclusive rights to trademarks.
One of the key innovations within the legislation is the establishment of the "Compensation" category, supplementing the pre-existing "Losses" concept.
Unlike losses, compensation does not necessitate evidence of a specific loss amount or its direct correlation to the infringer's conduct. Merely demonstrating the illicit utilization of the trademark suffices, after which the court determines the compensation amount within the legal parameters.
Article 52, Paragraph 3 of the law grants the rights holder the discretion to demand compensation:
- Ranging from one hundred to fifty thousand calculation indices, as determined by the court based on the nature of the infringement;
- Double the value of goods bearing the unlawfully affixed trademark, or double the value of the right to use the trademark, calculated according to the price typically charged for legitimate trademark use under comparable circumstances.
Consequently, this new legislation simplifies the process of recovering compensation for infringements of rights pertaining to trademarks and other means of individualization, rendering it more accessible to rights holders.
In light of these substantial legislative shifts in the Kyrgyz Republic, and given BrandMonitor experts' positive track record in applying the current laws, we encourage all rights holders to prioritize this region when expanding their brand protection strategies. As a result of the raids and the potential for compensation collection, the risks for counterfeiters have increased significantly, contributing to a more effective combat against illegal trademark use in Kyrgyzstan.