Intellectual property in Russia
Companies and individuals may seek protection of intellectual property rights in Russia as provided by Russian law
Russian IP protection is regulated by Part IV of the Russian Civil Code, certain federal laws and of course dozens of international treaties on intellectual property rights signed by Russia. Both IP protection legislation and enforcement practice have drastically changed over the last few years. For instance, the Court for Intellectual Property Rights was established in Russia in 2013 only 3 years ago. This court considers exclusively disputes related to intellectual property rights regardless of the parties involved in the case and serves as 1st instance as well as cassation court for any cases that it examines or that are considered by any other state commercial court in Russia.
Russian IP laws regulate the patents registered for inventions, utility models and industrial designs. Patents are issued by the Federal Service for Intellectual Property, Patents and Trademarks, which is also responsible for registering trademarks and service marks.
Unlike company names, trade names or commercial designations need neither to be registered nor to be specified in the company’s mandatory documents. The right to a company name arises from as soon as the legal entity is registered with the State Register of Legal Entities. A company name which is part of a trade name or trademark is protected in Russia regardless of the protection of the trade name or trademark itself.
Domain names are regulated differently as the Russian Civil Code does not recognize them as intellectual property despite the increasing number of court disputes related to domain names due to the greater role played by the internet in all areas of our lives. Different rules also apply to other intellectual property: know how (trade secrets), software and databases, copyrights and related rights, license agreements and employee’s developments.
It is important to remember that infringement of intellectual property rights entails civil, administrative and even criminal liability. Directors of companies responsible, for example, for using another entity’s trademark may indeed in some cases be subject to criminal liability. As for civil liability remedies, they may reach up to RUB 5 million for payment of damages or monetary compensation or double the payable royalties under similar circumstances.
New regulations on registration of trademarks and license agreements with the Federal Service for Intellectual Property, Patents and Trademarks was introduced recently so it is vital in such a complicated environment where the rules of the game are changing so rapidly to have lawyers at hand ready to handle any matters on short notice.
How can Accountor help?
Accountor lawyers work closely with the most reputable patent attorneys in Russia as well as on the global market and are ready to support you in matters related to protection of IP rights. We will be happy to assist you in:
- Registering trademarks and license agreements, patents and industrial designs;
- Representing your interests in courts and administrative bodies;
- Participating in negotiations and settling intellectual property disputes;
- Conducting audits, evaluating potential risks and damages;
- Uncovering unlawful production, distribution and sale of goods and products protected under a registered trademark; consulting on litigation in such infringement instances.
We very much look forward to discussing any of your legal cases in our offices in Moscow and Saint Petersburg.