What patent challenges await manufacturers in Ukraine

Today one of the most acute problems of competition in Ukraine — the copyright compliance, especially in the area of obtaining patents on new products and inventions. Ukrainian legislation poorly regulates the issue, allowing companies with virtually no restrictions to the right to similar products. This has resulted in the emergence of the phenomenon of patent trolling when one company registers, for example, the “similar” domain name and then resells it to the manufacturer who needs it. Such actions can not only make Ukraine a negative reputation in the international market, but unfair competition on the local.

To protect the market from unscrupulous manufacturers, it is possible to introduce a ban on the import, but it’s not the best solution. “Kyivguma” for 87 years, has issued over 40 patents for inventions and useful models. Although we are faced with patent unfair competition, yet not support the creation of legislative barriers. We always give the green light to importers who bring goods similar to ours, and come to us as the copyright holder for permission to import. We are not against healthy competition, for us it is an opportunity to focus on the reorientation of buyers for domestic products. We prefer to act gently and focus on how to explain that domestic production is not worse and often even better than their foreign counterparts.

But not all industries to shift the consumers easily. “Kyivguma” produces more than 3.5 thousand items of products for all industries. And if you convince the consumer to buy the Ukrainian equivalents for industrial facilities easier, then, for example, for retail products such as medical gloves or baby pacifiers — at times difficult, have to work in different competitive fields. Now we are faced with high competition in the segment of goods for children. “Kyivguma” have already formed their brand in this category and successfully replaces imported goods from Turkey, China, Poland. But, say, in the manufacture of bottles have not the high level of competition. At the time, “kyivguma” patented warmer and now is the only manufacturer of this product in Ukraine, competing only with Russian and Chinese importers.

Nevertheless, we see great potential in the development of the Ukrainian industry, we have a lot of unique companies which produce goods not worse, and even better than many brands. The problem is that they do not know. In a market economy, it is unlikely that state regulation of the import segment will help, and it is unlikely it will be fair from the point of view of the free market. Although some countries are given preference when selecting a provider to give priority to domestic producers.

But we think that a good starting point for promotion of Ukrainian producers would become the principle justification of the companies, why they buy imported goods in the presence of Ukrainian. This may provide the impetus for investment in domestic production. Ukraine could become an attractive investment country, provided the right policy, taxation and preferences for domestic companies, because we have enough human and technological resources to establish production of any goods.