Lawyers explained the importance of intellectual property protection in the defense sector

Advocacy
13:24 Mon 19.02.24 30 Reviews
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Today, the Armed Forces of Ukraine need to be constantly supplied not only with repaired or refurbished weapons, but also with the latest military equipment. Therefore, the issue of intellectual property is becoming critically important for both defense companies and the state.

The organization of patenting, licensing, inventing and rationalization work was recently discussed at an instructional and methodological session at the Administration of the State Special Transport Service, which operates within the system of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine.

The event was attended by Hanna Kolesnyk, Chairman of the UNBA Committee on Human Rights Protection, Igor Svetlichnyi, a member of the Committee's Council and a senior officer of the Military Science Department of the State Special Transport Service Administration, and Oleg Chernobai, Chairman of the Intellectual Property Committee of the Kyiv Regional Bar Council.

I. Svetlichny recalled the provisions of the main documents that regulate this area of activity at the departmental level:

  • Regulation on patent-licensing, inventive and rationalization work in the system of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine (Order of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine No. 287 dated 20.09.2022)
  • Methodical recommendations on the procedure for drafting, filing and reviewing an application for an innovation proposal (Order of the State Patent Office of Ukraine No. 131 of August 27, 1995).
  • The IP-5 application form, approved by Order of the State Statistics Committee of Ukraine No. 469 dated 10.08.2004.

The lawyer said that applications for rationalization proposals are reviewed by the commission for novelty and usefulness within thirty days. If necessary, the rationalization proposal is submitted for additional analysis and expert opinion. After the proposal is recognized as an innovation and accepted for use, each of the co-authors receives a certificate.

I. Svetlichny emphasized that servicemen who are the authors of the most valuable inventions created in the course of their duties, as well as of rationalization proposals, may (if they need to participate in the development and verification of proposals) be temporarily released from their duties with the permission of their superior for up to 30 days.

«Intellectual property, like any other type of property, is often subject to unlawful actions by third parties and, accordingly, requires legal protection. At the same time, special attention should be paid to the protection of rights to such intellectual property that can serve the purposes of state defense», said H. Kolesnyk.

An example of the importance of protecting intellectual property in the defense sector was given by H. Kolesnyk, referring to case No. 757/11406/20-ц.

In 2016, the Armored Plant received a certificate of registration for a night sight that was approved for use by the Armed Forces of Ukraine. Two years later, the Ministry of Economy issued a patent for a utility model related to this device. And on the basis of the patent, the owner of the right to use the model demanded that the plant stop using the object of its intellectual property in any way. This threatened to stop the repair work on the defense order for the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine.

However, the company found that the Ministry had violated the terms of legal protection, as the combination of features of the model was publicly available in the world before the date of filing the application. Therefore, in March 2020, the plant filed a lawsuit to invalidate the patent.

The courts of all instances sided with the plaintiff. The key to the case was the expert's opinion, which concluded that as of the date of filing the application for the invention under the Ukrainian patent, all the features of the utility model claims under the Ukrainian patent were known, so the utility model under the patent does not meet the condition of patentability «novelty».

At the same time, the defendant did not provide the court with any evidence that would refute the correctness and completeness of this conclusion and did not file a petition for the appointment of an examination of the intellectual property object in the case.

Also, during the event, its participants determined the prospects for the development of inventions, organization of work of invention clubs at the Department of Military Training of the State Service of Ukraine for Specialized Transport and Exploration of the peculiarities of registration of patents of Ukraine for utility models and service inventions of military personnel.

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