Russia

Ongoing political and economic difficulties in Russia were reflected in a dip in patent filings over the last year. Despite this stagnation, spirits are generally high: the consensus is that patent rights are being considered more seriously than before. As evidence of this, the specialised IP Court – which was established in 2013 – has lately been handling more patent cases, including disputes in which the financial stakes are noticeably higher. Meanwhile, the procedures for filing patent applications have been streamlined: the specific details and timeframes of the patent-related amendments to Part IV of the Civil Code were clarified when a raft of new rules and regulation came into force in late 2016. Perhaps the most significant change is that 30-day prior warning letters have now become mandatory before a patent owner can file a claim with the court.

Firms: litigation and transactions

1
Sojuzpatent
2
ARS-Patent
Baker McKenzie – CIS Limited
Gorodissky & Partners
Hogan Lovells (CIS)
3
Dentons
PATENTUS
Vakhnina and Partners

Firms: prosecution

Highly recommended
98
ARS-Patent
Sojuzpatent
Recommended
H
Baker McKenzie – CIS Limited
Euromarkpat
Hogan Lovells (CIS)
Papula-Nevinpat
Patent & Law Firm YUS LLC
Patentica Ltd
PATENTUS
PETOŠEVIĆ
Vakhnina and Partners
ARS-Patent
With bases in Moscow and St Petersburg, ARS-Patent is “an excellent choice for prosecution”, but “also deserves to be recommended for its proficiency in litigation”. The “brilliant” boutique has “a robust reputation” and houses “a solid team with impressive technical expertise”; its 23-strong IP squad capably handles more than 1,100 patent filings per year. “Famous for its prosecution abilities, it is a professional and respected group with strong international connections.” Standout practitioners Vladimir Rybakov and Ilyana Lipatova “are well-known senior members, and both are exceedingly good patent attorneys”. The former “possesses a sophisticated background as an engineer and is very knowledgeable. Having worked in this field for such a long time, he is held in high esteem by his peers”. Lipatova is “a reliable partner, especially in the biotechnology domain. She instils confidence and you can depend on her to adeptly handle your applications.”
Baker McKenzie – CIS Limited
Baker McKenzie’s Russian branch is celebrated for its contentious capabilities, but also serves as a central contact point for the firm’s European-wide patent prosecution services. In particular, it has a pristine track record in Patent Prosecution Highway mandates: all applications drafted by the team have been granted protection with practically no interim office actions. One client enthuses: “I have never seen it make a mistake before, which cannot be said for many other firms I have worked with here, and its communication lines are excellent.” “The team’s replies are timely and clear, and it provides smart advice to ensure filing success.” At the helm of the IP practice is Eugene Arievich: “He has a broad understanding of intellectual property and is able to advise across all areas.” Arievich, Vladimir Belkov and Yuri Pylnev make for a potent portfolio protection trio: “They are technically knowledgeable and savvy individuals who give practical advice. They have good language skills, understand all the procedural requirements and seem to know how disputes will play out.” Belkov takes charge of prosecution in the life sciences arena, while the “effective and prompt” Pylnev handles all electronics-related instructions. Transactional doyenne Margarita Divina rounds off the set: “She is especially proficient when it comes to distribution contracts and assignments.”
Dentons
Dentons has a broad, forward-looking perspective on the development of intangible assets, making it a sound choice for rights holders of all stripes; however, it performs especially adroitly at the intersection of information technology and intellectual property. Its technically savvy practitioners have their finger on the pulse of all the latest legal developments in fast-evolving sectors such as e-commerce and media. Victor Naumov fronts the combined IP, IT and telecommunications practice. A computer scientist by training, he is an authority on digital patent issues. “More than just knowing the law well, he has a mix of professional skills and human qualities that makes collaborating with him a great experience.”
Euromarkpat
Headquartered in Munich, Euromarkpat provides its “really high-quality” patent services in Russian, German and English. Its Moscow office has attracted a loyal following of local clients and, with its close ties and ease of access to the Russian and Eurasian patent offices, it also plays a pivotal role in the firm’s wider Eastern European operations. The star player is Irina Aleksandrovna Vesselitskaya, who is a magnet for praise: “She was one of the first patent attorneys in the country and is a respected name on the market.” “Not only is she a mechanical engineering specialist, she also excels in the pharmaceutical sphere.”
Gorodissky & Partners

When it comes to IP work in Russia, Gorodissky is “obviously excellent” and “certainly the biggest competitor”. “It simply has a huge presence here and is a leader in the patent market, especially for prosecution.” The thriving boutique has a string of offices across the country, plus an additional outpost in Kiev, which operate together seamlessly thanks to cutting-edge internal infrastructure. Yury Kuznetsov leads a team whose “technical and administrative know-how is consistently top notch”. “Kuznetsov always provides accurate and timely responses, and it’s really impressive how he can intuitively help you achieve your objectives.” Sergey Dorofeev is a go-to for the most complicated instructions; he recently had a significant opposition quashed at the Chamber for Patent Disputes on behalf of a major Russian machine building plant. He captains the mechanics division, while all things chemical fall under the care of Elena Nazina, who is “brilliant in the pharmaceutical field”. “Her deep technical understanding is accompanied by profound legal argumentation skills in invalidation cases.” She has lately been busy getting signatures on the bottom line of myriad patent deals. Similarly, Vladimir Biriulin – a master of four languages – and Natalia Stepanova both excel at crafting smart IP transfer agreements. In the last year, Stepanova has also been providing added firepower on the contentious front; she and Evgeny Aleksandrov have been putting in persuasive performances in critical patent disputes. A lecturer and frequent writer on IP issues, Alexsandrov has accumulated far-reaching prosecution and litigation wisdom across the IP spectrum. Managing partner Valery Medvedev rounds off the troop; the mechanical and electrical engineering aficionado is a font of patent knowledge.

“If you are talking about important patent firms in Russia, you have to mention Gowling WLG” – “it is the best international firm here for patents”. It runs “a top-notch prosecution practice that provides great value for money”; however, the “outstanding” ensemble is most revered for its enforcement prowess, especially in the life sciences domain, and “its gold ranking for litigation is fully justified”. The “proactive” David Aylen runs the show here: “His advice on both patents and trademarks is always sound and precise. He is hands-on, very smart and practical.” “He has meticulous attention to detail and a comprehensive understanding of IP law.” Aylen, Vitaly Lebedev and Vladislav Ugryumov have lately been gathering steam in the nuclear sector: Rosatom has been relying on their sage counsel in relation to various Patent Cooperation Treaty national phase entries. The “brilliant” Lebedev is a former patent office examiner and an electronics and telecommunications dynamo. Ugryumov is “reliable in everything from patent prosecution and opinions to litigation and regulatory issues. He is unbelievably responsive and good at devising creative solutions.” He and Alexander Christophoroff are the firm’s star litigators: “You will always see the two of them in court on pharmaceutical disputes, and both deserve to be highly recommended.” Christophoroff is “a standout lawyer” with “robust argumentation skills” and “a wealth of knowledge in patent matters”. The seasoned Vladimir Dementiev serves as special counsel to the group; as testament to his standing in the field, he was elected as an adviser to Russia’s specialised IP Court in 2015.
Hogan Lovells (CIS)
Hogan Lovells’ Moscow contingent makes good use of its vast firm-wide resources and ably serves a slew of industry-leading names across various territories. For example, the group has had its plate full in the last year managing the portfolios of RUSAL, the world’s biggest aluminium producer, and CJ Cheil Jedang, the largest food, pharmaceutical and biotechnology company based in South Korea. Life sciences remains a stronghold for the team, which continues to guide GlaxoSmithKline through the Commonwealth of Independent States market, taking an aggressive but practical stance against infringers along the way. All of these initiatives, and more, have been spearheaded by IP, media and technology division chief Natalia Gulyaeva. A popular choice for high-stakes pharmaceutical litigation, she also strikes a chord with globally recognised electronics companies, such as Sony. “Highly professional, creative and business oriented, she takes a very client-centric approach to her work” – a claim supported by the fact that she is a two-time Client Choice Award winner.
Papula-Nevinpat
Finland’s Papula-Nevinpat boasts an extensive network across the post-Soviet states. Its St Petersburg base has been in operation for almost three decades and today is one of the country’s most prolific filing shops. Home to a phalanx of dual-qualified attorneys, it is a touchstone for international clients looking to expand their IP interests in the region. Lately, pharmaceuticals and telecommunications have been the main focal points for the well-organised set. Alexander Polikarpov is the man to see for any queries.
Patent & Law Firm YUS LLC
Patent & Law Firm YUS has been up and running since the dawn of the Russian patent scene and has long cracked the code to success. “Prompt and efficient”, the highly valued one-stop shop offers “a flawless service”. A perennial favourite for globe-trotting rights holders, it has recently been representing the likes of Xiaomi, Rolls-Royce and Samsung; however, it also possesses “an excellent domestic client base”. “It compares very favourably to any other player here. In particular, it takes a more personalised approach and its response times are much faster than many of the larger firms.” “Ultimately, its services can be characterised by its great combination of value and quality.” “All of its professionals are extremely capable in their respective fields, but Denis Levchuk is one to highlight for his deep familiarity with patent issues.” He is “incredibly smart”, with “an abundance of knowledge and experience in intellectual property. Both he and his firm have such a long history in the patent business – you can entrust your most important matters to him with confidence”. This year sees the sophomore appearance of Andrey Svistov in the guide; an expert in IP valuation and due diligence, he is the first port of call for the disposal of patent and trademark rights.
Patentica Ltd
With a diverse line-up of scientifically and technically proficient IP professionals, Patentica casts a wide net when it comes to industry-specific quandaries. It also offers sterling translation services and accounts for a substantial share of local filings. The efficient ensemble’s forte lies in the protection and exploitation of innovation for international clients. “It has built up a formidable presence in a short space of time and is definitely a firm worth keeping an eye on.” Managing partner Maria Nilova leads from the front.
PATENTUS
“Very devoted, knowledgeable, responsive and effective”, is the client verdict on IAM Patent 1000 newcomer PATENTUS. “Collaboration with the group is tremendously fruitful, as it provides cost-effective solutions.” Although capable across the gamut of technical disciplines, it is best known for its work in the chemistry and life sciences domains, especially on behalf of prominent generic drugs companies. Most recently, it has been conducting sophisticated and comprehensive analyses for Drugs Formulation, one of the country’s largest pharmaceutical distributors. Head of patents Alexey Mikhailov took the helm on this and many other key mandates. One of the country’s top individual filers, the “highly active and talented professional” has handled “numerous interesting cases”. Robust enforcer Dmitry Markanov also provided invaluable support on the Drugs Formulation brief: “He provides clear legal and business visions, and his effective negotiation skills achieve successful results.”
PETOŠEVIĆ
Regional powerhouse PETOŠEVIĆ’s reach extends to over 30 jurisdictions in Central and Eastern Europe. Its Russian unit is the latest in a long line of offices to be established and is also the busiest in terms of patent work. Its primary area of focus is fulfilling the multifaceted filing and drafting needs of foreign patent owners. Consistent quality, speed and dedication are hallmarks of its service – urgent and unexpected issues are dealt with immediately and without fuss. Office director Tatyana Kulikova is a name for the address book.
Sojuzpatent
Russia’s oldest IP outfit, the “superb” Sojuzpatent has substantial cachet in the patent field – “it is one of the most significant players here”. “Always a major competitor”, it is home to an army of technically gifted practitioners and “fully deserves its top ranking for both prosecution and litigation”. Its prodigious filing numbers have remained steady in the last year, while it has also seen an uptick in its contentious caseload. With pharmaceuticals and telecommunications strongholds, it has become a partner of choice for industry heavyweights such as Teva and Ericsson. For the latter, it handled the first case regarding standard-essential patents in telecommunications. The “excellent” Aleksey Zalesov, who fronts the patent practice, took command of these matters for both clients. “He is a very well-known name in this field, having held several respected public positions. He is also a highly skilled patent litigator and forms convincing arguments in court.” His right hand is Irina Ozolina, another deft tactician and tenacious enforcer. Specialising in both life sciences and telecommunications, she also played a key role in the Teva and Ericsson briefs.
Vakhnina and Partners
All aspects of IP law fall under the purview of Vakhnina and Partners. The venerable boutique plays host to a close-knit crew of patent and trademark attorneys who make light work of both contentious and non-contentious instructions. Alexey Vakhnin and Tatyana Vakhnina make for a dynamic duo. Vakhnin is “a patent expert who is commonly relied on for his professional opinions in court”; while Vakhnina has built a reputation as an astute litigator and manager of intangible assets.

Individuals: transactions

Alexander Christophoroff - Gowling WLG
Margarita Divina - Baker McKenzie – CIS Limited
Sergey Dorofeev - Gorodissky & Partners
Natalia Gulyaeva - Hogan Lovells (CIS)
Victor Naumov - Dentons
Vladimir Rybakov - ARS-Patent
Natalia Stepanova - Gorodissky & Partners
Andrey S Svistov - Patent & Law Firm YUS LLC
Alexey Vakhnin - Vakhnina and Partners

Individuals: prosecution

Vladimir Belkov - Baker McKenzie – CIS Limited
Vladimir N Dementiev - Gowling WLG
Sergey Dorofeev - Gorodissky & Partners
Vladimir Kuryshev - Kuryshev & Associates
Yury Kuznetsov - Gorodissky & Partners
Vitaliy V Lebedev - Gowling WLG
Denis Levchuk - Patent & Law Firm YUS LLC
Ilyana Lipatova - ARS-Patent
Valery Medvedev - Gorodissky & Partners
Alexey Mikhailov - PATENTUS
Mikhail Mozhaisky - Mozhaisky IP
Elena Nazina - Gorodissky & Partners
Yuri Pylnev - Baker McKenzie – CIS Limited
Vladimir Rybakov - ARS-Patent
Vladislav M Ugryumov - Gowling WLG
Alexey Vakhnin - Vakhnina and Partners
Irina Aleksandrovna Vesselitskaya - Euromarkpat

Individuals: litigation

Highly recommended
Alexander Christophoroff - Gowling WLG
Vladislav M Ugryumov - Gowling WLG
Aleksey Zalesov - Sojuzpatent
Recommended
Evgeny Aleksandrov - Gorodissky & Partners
Eugene A Arievich - Baker McKenzie – CIS Limited
David Aylen - Gowling WLG
Vladimir Biriulin - Gorodissky & Partners
Mark Chizhenok - Ivanov Makarov & Partners
Natalia Gulyaeva - Hogan Lovells (CIS)
Dmitry Markanov - PATENTUS
Irina Ozolina - Sojuzpatent
Yuri Pylnev - Baker McKenzie – CIS Limited
Tatyana Vakhnina - Vakhnina and Partners
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Issue 86