International Reports - More Updates

Gowling WLG

09 May 2018
Russian regulators provide clarity on cryptocurrency and crowdfunding

The Russian market is investing rapidly in blockchain technology and fintech, with regulators largely having been forced to catch up. Accordingly, two draft bills regulating digital financial assets and alternative means of investment generation (crowdfunding) have been developed. Full text

07 Mar 2018
Parallel importation: Constitutional Court narrows scope of protection

The Constitutional Court has clarified Russia’s stance on national and regional exhaustion of rights. While it seems that infringement by reason of parallel importation is a constitutionally sound cause of action, it can now be asserted only in limited cases with remedies that are inconsequential. Full text

28 Feb 2018
Russia’s enduring love for fake luxury

Over $43 billion-worth of counterfeit goods are sold in Russia each year – and this figure is escalating. The Internet and social media have transformed this sector by offering greater anonymity and less risk of prosecution for buyers and sellers alike. Full text

31 Jan 2018
Faking it: can QR codes combat counterfeit medicines?

A new federal law aims to eliminate the illegal trafficking of medicines in Russia – including counterfeit, falsified and inferior medicines – by introducing mandatory identification marks on medicine packaging and a track and trace system for all medicines in circulation. Full text

24 Jan 2018
Russian court declares parallel imports legal

The Moscow Commercial Court recently declared that a warning notice issued by the Federal Anti-monopoly Service against KYB Corporation was justifiable and would not be struck down. If the KYB decision is upheld and the Constitutional Court decision supports it, parallel imports may become entirely legal in Russia. Full text

22 Nov 2017
Rospatent re-launches fee-based expedited examination

The Russian Patent and Trademark Office recently announced that expedited examination will be available for all trademark applications. Since 2012, patent law has allowed accelerated examination through the Patent Prosecution Highway system, but no expedited procedure has been in place for trademarks. Full text

01 Nov 2017
Government increases official fees charged by Rospatent

Rospatent's administrative fees were recently increased by Decree 1151. Some of the new fees for patent and trademark registration, maintenance and renewal are one and a half to two times higher than those set previously. Full text

25 Oct 2017
FAS threatens brand owners with prosecution for unfair competition

Following Russia’s recent switch to a regional exhaustion regime, businesses are concerned that full or partial legalisation of parallel imports will lead to an increased volume of counterfeit goods entering the Russian market. Full text

16 Aug 2017
New restrictions for VPNs and anonymisers in Russia

A new federal law provides for the regulation of virtual private networks and other technologies that allow users to surf the Internet anonymously. However, it is unlikely that blocking anonymisers will successfully remove all illegal online content. Full text

02 Aug 2017
Has Russia finally stopped online piracy?

The new Law on Mirror Websites was recently adopted by the State Duma. The law obliges search engines such as Google or Yandex, on receiving a request from Roskomnadzor, to withhold information about the domain name of an infringing website and any references to mirror websites of  permanently blocked websites. Full text

19 Jul 2017
Demand letters in IP litigation: when are they mandatory?

A year after the pre-trial serving of a would-be defendant with a demand letter became mandatory in Russia, the procedure is facing further changes in relation to IP disputes. A new federal law clarified the range of IP disputes where sending a demand letter to the potential defendant is a mandatory pre-trial procedure. Full text

12 Jul 2017
New law regulating video-on-demand services

The controversial draft law on online cinemas recently came into force. The law amends the existing federal law on information, information technologies and protection of information and is directed at video-on-demand services. Full text

28 Jun 2017
“Roskomnadzor is informing”: state protocols for website blocking

Roskomnadzor is the state executive body for supervising all media in Russia, including what can appear on the Internet. The main question among many online companies operating in Russia is why certain websites are being blocked. Full text

07 Jun 2017
Offices of search engine Yandex raided in Ukraine

The escalation of sanctions against Russian IT companies – including Russia's top search engine Yandex – follows a number of recent initiatives from the Ukrainian authorities aimed at limiting access of Russian-controlled entities to critical Ukrainian cybersecurity infrastructure. Full text

24 May 2017
WeChat is back online

One week after access to WeChat, China's most popular social media app, was cut off in Russia for failure to comply with recently introduced information laws, the app is now available and back online. It is not the first time that a web-based service has been blocked in Russia. Full text

26 Apr 2017
Russia signs up to international design registration at long last

President Putin has signed a law ratifying the Geneva Act of the Hague Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Industrial Designs. The agreement is designed to facilitate the protection of industrial designs in multiple countries or regions by allowing applicants to file a single application in a single language. Full text

12 Apr 2017
New proposed Eurasian trademark system

At a recent International Trade Association in Russia roundtable event on parallel imports and IP rights, Deputy Head of the Eurasian Economic Commission Sergei Shurygin confirmed that the Eurasian Economic Union intends to move forward with plans to introduce a new Eurasian regional trademark. Full text

08 Feb 2017
Parallel imports sneak into Russia through procedural loophole

Until recently, while customs officials did not seize parallel imports, they did detain them for at least 10 days – which was enough time for the brand owner to file an infringement action and request a preliminary injunction in the Commercial Court. However, the new 30-day pre-litigation rule means it is no longer possible to freeze parallel imports at the border. Full text

07 Dec 2016
LinkedIn unlinked in Russia

At present, LinkedIn is blocked in Russia. The case is one of the first to drive home the extent to which Russian authorities are ready to enforce the new data localisation provisions against brand owners, particularly against those which operate websites that are accessible in Russia without having a physical presence there. Full text


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Issue 90