Author: Dr. Jacekas Antulis, Associated Partner, Head of Patent Division at METIDA
There are several major markets in the world: Europe, the US, China, Japan and Russia. In terms of territory, Russia is almost twice as big as China. Although the size of population in Russia compared to China is not so big (mere 143 MN), it is still approximately 2.5 times bigger than the one in the UK or almost twice as big as in Germany.
In the last decade, the commercial interest in China has increased due to its vast population and a large number of potential costumers. Previously, China used to be valued only as a good place for production of goods and the goods were sold in Europe or the US. However, this has changed in the past 5 years. In other words, it has become more difficult and expensive to produce goods in China. In addition, China has started progressing in the innovation area, as it began producing high quality complex goods and exporting them to the rest of the world.
Since Russia in comparison with the rest of the world (China, the US and Europe) began to fall behind in the innovation area (especially in its installation), the country has become more attractive to the other countries for the realisation of complex technological goods. Consequently, foreign companies have attempted to expand their innovations to Russia. However, it is not well known that from the 1st of January, 2010 Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan signed a special treaty regarding the free economic zone, i.e. there are no customs among these countries. This means that if, patentwise, the product is protected only in Russia, but not in Belarus or Kazakhstan, illegal actions associated with black market are likely to be expected in Belarus and Kazakhstan which without additional help would be difficult to control. The only solution to this problem would be to protect one’s product with a patent not only in Russia, but also in Kazakhstan and Belarus. However, patenting in these countries would incur additional expenses. In order to avoid them, it is possible to file a Eurasian application, which encompasses 8 countries including Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan. It is a very effective method. More information about this type of patenting can be found here:
Furthermore, a lot of countries worldwide (including China) have special discounts for Eurasian applications (up to 80% from official charges associated with filling, expertise and etc.). And thus, patenting a product in three previously mentioned countries (i.e. Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan) by filling a Eurasian application is often cheaper than patenting it only in Russia.
It is also useful to remember that Belarus and Kazakhstan are quite huge countries which can provide you not only with protection but also with an additional income resource. Geographically, Belarus is bigger than the UK and Kazakhstan is even more than two times bigger than Germany, France and the United Kingdom all together.
Kazakhstan’s economic situation
Kazakhstan is the biggest and richest Central Asian country which has borders with Russia, China, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and the Caspian Sea.
Natural resources: oil, gas, coal, iron ore, manganese, nickel, cobalt, copper, molybdenum, lead, zinc, bauxite, gold, uranium.
General agriculture: grain, potatoes, vegetables, melons, animals.
Industry: coal, iron ore, manganese, chromite, lead, zinc, copper, titanium, bauxite, gold, silver, phosphates, uranium, sulfur, iron and steel, tractors, and other agricultural assembly of machines, electric motors, construction tools. Imports mechanical equipment, metal products, nutrients.
Import partners: Russia, China, Germany, USA.
Until 2030 Kazakhstan is trying to become a country of ‘green’ economy. The intellectual property protection receives a lot of attention, however there are still a lot of violations of this area in this country.
Economic situation in Belarus
Belarus is a country in Eastern Europe which has borders with Lithuania, Latvia, Russia, Poland, Ukraine. On the 25th of August, 1991 Belarus declared independence from the Soviet Union, however, it remained the closest to Russia in comparison to the previous Soviet Union countries. On the 8th of December, 1999 a bilateral alliance with Russia was established for a better political and economical integration. Belarus’ economy is strongly associated with Russia’s and Kazakhstan’s economies and after the establishement of a customs union their bond will only be stronger.
Main crops: grain, potatoes, vegetables, sugar cane, flax, beef, milk.
Main production areas: metal cutting tools, tractors, trucks, earthmovers, motorcycles, televisions, fertilisers, synthetic fabrics, textiles, radios, refrigerators. Imports mineral products, machinery and equipment, chemicals, nutrients, metals.
Main import partners: Russia, Germany, China, Ukraine.
Natural resources: wood, peat, oil, gas, dolomite, chalk, sand, clay, marl, gravel.
Even though Belarus is significantly improving in intellectual property protection and legal regulation, violations and pirating still occur quite often.
More information about patenting in Eurasia through our branch in Belarus:
More information about patenting in Europe through our central office in Lithuania: