How to Transfer Website According to Belarusian Legislation?
In the course of business activity companies often face the necessity of transfer of Internet websites. The difficulty of this transfer is that a website in the Republic of Belarus is not considered as an object of intellectual property in contrast to Russian Federation. However, other objects of intellectual property can be used on a website (for example, website design, data base, trademarks and others).
In case of transfer of the rights to a website several intellectual property objects are being transferred. First of all, websites include the copyright objects. According to article 7 of the Law on the Copyright and Neighboring Rights N 370-XIII of May 16, 1996 (hereinafter referred to as the Law on the Copyright), the copyright objects inter alia include data bases and other works (site design). According to article 25 of the Law on the Copyright right on copyright objects can be transferred by the owner of the copyright to a third person. Therefore rights on website design and data base can be transferred on the basis of a copyright cession contract concluded in writing.
In website domain name as well as in website design it is allowed to use the trademark registered in the Republic of Belarus. According to article 20 of the Law on Trademarks # 2181-XII of February 5, 1993 (hereinafter referred to as the Law on Trademarks) the right to use a trademark which belongs to the owner of a trademark or other person on the basis of a license agreement includes the right to use a trademark in the Internet and website domains as well. According to paragraph 2 article 3 of the Law on Trademarks no one has the right to use the trademark registered in the Republic of Belarus without permission of its owner.
Therefore in case of transfer of a website it is also necessary to transfer the rights on the trademark used in website domain and site design. According to article 22 of the Law on Trademarks the right on a trademark can be conceded by the owner of a trademark under the contract to the legal or natural person concerning all or a part of the goods for which it is registered. Thus a trademark cession contract shall be concluded and the patent agency shall be informed of such contract.
It should be mentioned that in addition to the conclusion of a copyright cession contract (for data base and website design) and a cession contract of trademark used in domain and website design in case of transfer of a website its domain shall be delegated to a new owner of the website according to the Instruction on the Registration Procedure of Domains in the National Segment of the Internet.
Thus, in case of transfer of a website in the Republic of Belarus it is necessary to specify all intellectual property objects that are used on a website and are to be transferred.
AUTHOR: Nikita Tolkanitsa, Associate at Law Firm GLIMSTEDT
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Disclaimer: While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication, it is not intended to provide legal advice as individual situations will differ and should be discussed with an expert and/or lawyer. For specific technical or legal advice on the information provided and related topics, please contact the author.