Infringement of Intellectual Property Rights

According to the Georgian legislation, rights over certain industrial property objects (invention, utility models, designs, trademarks, geographical indications, new plant varieties, animal breeds, integrated circuits) arise as a result of their registration at SAKPATENTI, the Georgian Intellectual Property Rights Center. No formalities are required for the establishment of copyrights and neighboring rights and the creation of work gives rise to copyright. SAKPATENTI has a voluntary system of deposition of subject matter copies protected by copyright and databases protected under sui generis right.

Georgian legislation prescribes various types of liability for the infringement of intellectual property rights. Possible
measures which the holder of intellectual property rights may apply against infringer are listed below. The Code of Civil Procedure of Georgia provides for the court’s authority to take provisional measures necessary for securing full and proper execution of the court’s decision.

According to the Georgian legislation, violation of intellectual property rights is defined as unauthorized use / exploitation of different objects of intellectual property rights and misappropriation of certain rights as well as with facts concerning forcing a person on co-authorship.

Copyrights (Author’s Rights, Neighboring Rights, Sui Generis Rights) Georgian legislation provides the following forms of liability for violation of copyrights:

Criminal liability – pursuant to the Article 189 of Criminal Code of Georgia, misappropriation of author’s rights as well as forcing a person on co-authorship shall be punished by a fine or correctional work for a term of up to two years. If the same crime is committed repeatedly, it shall cause imprisonment for a term of up to three years.

Violation of copyrights (Author’s Rights, Neighboring Rights, Sui Generis rights) resulting in illegal reproduction, storage, purchase, sale, import or rental of works, phonograms, videograms and databases, as well as other actions violating rights protected under respective Legislation with intent of receiving large amount of revenue (at least 5,000 GEL) may be punishable by imprisonment for up to two years. If the same crime is committed with intent of receiving especially large amount of revenue (at least 10,000 GEL) or by a group’s conspiracy, it shall cause an imprisonment for up to three years. The following sanctions can be applied against legal entities participating in above mentioned crimes: fine, deprivation of commercial activity right or liquidation and fine.

Administrative liability – pursuant to the Article 1571 of Code on Administrative Violations of Georgia illegal reproduction of works, phonograms, videograms, databases and circumvention of technological measures thereto as well as purchase, sale, import, storage, rent of their counterfeited copies or other actions violating rights protected under respective legislation with intent of receiving revenue shall cause fine from 500 GEL up to 3,000 GEL (along with confiscation of the devices used in the course of illegal reproduction and circumvention of technological measures); for the repeat violation amount of fine makes up from 3,000 GEL up to 5,000 GEL (along with confiscation of counterfeited copies and devices used in the course of illegal reproduction and circumvention of technological measures). Confiscated devices and counterfeited copies are subject to destruction unless they are transferred to the right holder. Articles 1572 and 1573 provide sanctions up to 5,000 GEL and confiscation of devices used for removal or alteration of the rights management information on the copies of work, phonogram, videogram or database (Article 1572) and alteration or destruction of protective mark applied to the said objects
by the right holder (Article 1573).

Civil liability – pursuant to Article 59 of Law of Georgia on Copyright and Neighboring Rights, in case of an infringement of copyrights, the right holder may seek compensation of damages including lost profit or confiscation of profits earned by the infringer as a result of violation of copyrights. The copyright holder is also entitled to demand destruction of counterfeited copies as well as destruction of the devices used for the production of such copies. Article 61 of the law also provides for possibility to adopt provisional measures (injunction, arrest of the counterfeited goods) by the court.

At the same time, administrative or criminal proceedings may run parallel to the civil case. It means that, besides criminal/administrative proceedings, the aggrieved party is entitled to initiate civil action against the infringer.

The law of Georgia on Copyright and Neighboring Rights provides special regulations concerning collective management organizations. Georgian Copyright Association, which unites a large part of Georgian authors, administers various categories of rights and enables more effective enforcement for copyright holders. Georgian Copyright Association has agreements on mutual representation with more than 100 similar organizations of various countries and is a member of the International Confederation of Societies of Authors and Composers (CISAC), member of International Organization Representing Mechanical Rights (BIEM) and associated member of International Federation of Reproduction Rights Societies (IFRRO).

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