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Protecting Your Intellectual Property in Tajikistan

In spite of the fact that Tajikistan is a member of many international agreements and unions, Tajikistan does not adhere to key international agreements on intellectual property rights and there are few real protections for patents, copyrights, trademarks, and other intellectual property.
There are a number of provisions in the Constitution and civil and criminal codes providing for the protection of intellectual property. Part II of the civil code provides protections for all types of property. Part III regulates intellectual property rights, inheritance rights, and private international rights. According to Article 1137 of Part III, the following protections are available:
Financial compensation by court decision; Withdrawal of material and equipment used in violation of the property rights and goods, or produced as a result of the violation; Publication in the mass media of the cases; and Other methods as stipulated in the law.

Despite the formal legal guarantees of intellectual property rights, actual enforcement of these provisions lags far behind.
The following organizations are responsible for the implementation of intellectual property rights policy and enforcement:
The National Patent Information Center (NPIC) at the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade is the primary patenting organization. One of the NPIC’s main functions is to protect state interests with respect to inventions, industrial samples, trademarks, service marks and names of origins of goods. The Department on Authors’ Rights and Related Rights at the Ministry of Culture is responsible for the protection of authors’ rights. The State Commission on Grade Testing and Protection of Grades at the Ministry of Agriculture deals with licensing of agricultural products and services. The Customs Committee is responsible for measures undertaken at the state border. Other government structures may also have roles, including the Supreme Economic Court and the Department to Combat Intellectual Property Rights Violations under the Ministry of the Interior.

Tajikistan joined the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) in 1994 and has acceded to the following agreements concerning copyright agreements:
— Convention on establishment of the WIPO (12/25/1991)
— The Universal Copyright Convention (1992)
— Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works (03/09/2000)
— Rome Convention for the Protection of Performers, Producers of Phonograms and Broadcasting Organizations (05/19/2008)
— WIPO Copyright Treaty (04/05/2009)
— WIPO Phonograms and Performances Treaty (08/24/2011)
— Convention for the Protection of Producers of Phonograms against Unauthorized Duplication of their Phonograms (under consideration)

The State Agency National Patent and Information Center under the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade reports that Tajikistan signed several other agreements in the area of industrial designs:
— The Budapest Treaty on the International Recognition of the Deposit of Microorganisms for the Purposes of Patent Procedure (02/14/1994)
— Locarno Agreement Establishing an International Classification for Industrial Designs
— Nairobi Treaty on Protection of the Olympic Symbol (02/14/1994)
— Nice Agreement Concerning the International Classification of Goods and Services for the Purposes of the Registration of Marks (02/14/1994)
— Paris Convention on Protection of the Industrial Property (02/14/1994)
— Strasbourg Agreement on International Patent Classification (02/14/1994)
— Geneva Act of the Hague Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Industrial Designs (10/12/2011)

Several recent changes have brought Tajikistan closer to compliance with TRIPS and other IP norms. Tajikistan passed a law on protecting new plant varieties in December 2010 and joined the International Union for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants (UPOV) in March 2011. Though a signatory to the Berne Convention, until recently Tajikistan’s copyright law did not protect sound recordings or pre-existing works as provided for by the WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty. On December 29, 2010, Tajikistan’s parliament ratified the Convention, removing one of the major remaining legislative gaps in IPR. The Convention has been submitted to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for formal accession.

IP Resources
For information about patent, trademark, or copyright issues, including enforcement issues in the U.S. and other countries go to www.StopFakes.gov
For more information about registering trademarks, and patents (both in the United States and foreign countries), contact the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) at www.uspto.gov

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