18:45 01.12.2021

Dmytro Shymkiv: Ukraine is in urgent need of modern system for copyright protection

3 min read

Ukrainians are now registering patents abroad, according to the Head of the Board of Directors of Darnitsa Group.

Ukraine badly needs a modern system for copyright protection to preserve and develop its own scientific and technological potential. Dmytro Shymkiv, the Head of the Board of Directors of Darnitsa Group, said this on air of the “Double Standards” programme on NV Radio, when answering why Ukraine ranked 56th in the Global Innovation Index Rating and continued to lag behind. He emphasized that today Ukrainian scientists and developers prefer either to work under contract for foreign companies or register their patents in the states that provide worldwide protection for intellectual property rights.

“A lot of interesting patents are registered mainly in countries that have a serious juridical base for copyright protection. This is critical," the Head of the Board of Directors of Darnitsa Group said.

“I have had a relation to inventions all my life and I know that Soviet scientists who created unique things did not become millionaires. And if we look at the experience of the US, Japan, and China, we see that people, who have created innovative products get a patent, and the companies that use that patent pay them royalties for it. Scientists live on this money continuing their scientific activities,” he added.

At the same time, Ukraine has a strong social capital of scientists, IT specialists and other talented professionals capable of inventing promising technologies. To rise in the ranking of innovative states, we need to create conditions for these people to benefit from their inventions without leaving for abroad. First of all, this means that their intellectual property rights must be protected by law.

The coronavirus pandemic and quarantine restrictions in certain segments have reduced Ukrainian business revenues by up to 80%, according to him. “Only adaptive companies will survive. Businesses must adapt, find other forms of cooperation with clients, use innovations and digital technologies,” Shymkiv said. He reminded that this year the Covid crisis has accelerated implementation of solutions that had only been discussed before. According to the forecast, in 2022 digital platforms, messengers, chats, and delivery services will continue to gain momentum. At the same time, the continued quarantine will be a challenge for builders, developers and office owners.

“The first thing that appeared in the US Constitution was an intellectual right. It is a fundamental value. For example, our programmers get patents, but they tend to register them in countries that guarantee protection in the global market,” Dmytro Shymkiv explains.

According to the Special 301 Report of the Office of the United States Trade Representative, released in April 2021 (an annual review of intellectual property rights protection), Ukraine is on the Priority Watch List (a list of countries that lack sufficiently effective intellectual property protection) along with Argentina, Chile, China, India, Indonesia and others.

However, Dmytro Shymkiv also drew attention to some positive aspects, in particular, that Ukraine is taking steps to improve collective management system of the property rights of copyright holders.

Thus, this summer, the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine introduced a number of amendments to the Code of Administrative Offences, which increase responsibility for copyright infringement in the country. In particular, fines from 50 to 300 untaxed minimum wages with confiscation of products may be imposed for illegal use of an object of intellectual property or plagiarism. The document also introduces liability for intended financing of copyright violations and related rights.

In general, the aim of the document is to adapt the Ukrainian legislation on copyright and related rights to the standards of the European Union.