According to Zharkenov, the lawsuit could drag on for years.
“I think the company has enough resources to defend its interests. Moreover, the service can operate quietly during the proceedings. However, if the company’s accounts are blocked, which has not happened yet, then the company’s activities may be suspended until it can appeal the decision. In this case, the losses could be estimated at hundreds of millions, if not billions of tenge,” he explained.
The lawyer noted that such cases of “patent trolling” are common both in Kazakhstan and worldwide. However, if in the world these lawsuits are connected with a significant volume of the market, in Kazakhstan the reason is illiteracy in the field of copyright and intellectual property rights.
“Walk down the street. You’ll see signs and logos. In fact, only 10% of companies have formalized the legal rights to them. This is the situation in Kazakhstan and CIS countries. Unscrupulous elements take advantage of this and make money, “- said Zharkenov, and added that awareness among companies on this issue should be raised.
LS interlocutor gave an example from his own practice, when a Kazakh company promoted its brand of tableware, which was produced in China according to the specifications specified by the customer. When the volume of output increased, the PRC company checked whether the Kazakhstani seller had registered the trademark. It turned out that they had not. As a result, the manufacturers did and sued the business from the Kazakh company.
“The sphere of intellectual property is underestimated in Kazakhstan at the moment, but is gaining more and more relevance. Up to 5% of all legal entities in Kazakhstan face this problem in one way or another. It causes serious problems that can temporarily suspend activities and bring great losses,” the lawyer specified.
Mr. Zharkenov noted that in addition to literacy of Kazakhstan’s citizens on the issue of intellectual property rights, it is necessary to constantly align the system at the legislative level.
In particular, in the matter of copyright fee in the amount of 0.7% of the recording equipment must be decided for what purposes the money is collected, how they are distributed, and who is the operator in this matter. At the moment about 20 lawsuits have been initiated on this issue.
“In 99% of cases, the legislation is fine. However, it does not keep up with the changes in the market, which happen all the time,” concluded the LS interlocutor.