Russia

Thanks to a combination of the COVID-19 pandemic, ongoing US sanctions, the 2020 oil price war with Saudi Arabia and other economic factors, Russian industry has had a torrid year. Investment remains low and patent filings appear to be on the decline as a result. However, several positive changes should have lasting effects well beyond this challenging period – most notably, electronic filings are now possible, enhancing the efficiency of the IP system. Additionally, due to the pandemic, 30% of administrative proceedings before the Chamber of Patent Disputes were conducted via video conference in 2020, and it is now expected that video hearings will become a permanent fixture rather than a temporary workaround. Further changes in the pipeline include a new initiative that will allow Rospatent to outsource patent searches and substantive examination to accredited scientific organisations and universities.

Firms: litigation and transactions

Firms: prosecution

  • Highly recommended
  • ARS-Patent
  • Gorodissky & Partners 
  • Gowling WLG
  • Sojuzpatent 
  • Vakhnina and Partners
  • Recommended
  • Baker McKenzie
  • Euromarkpat
  • Hogan Lovells
  • Papula-Nevinpat
  • Patent & Law Firm YUS LLC
  • PATENTUS
  • PETOŠEVIĆ
  • Skolkovo Intellectual Property Center

A Zalesov & Partners Patent & Law Firm 

Since it was established three years ago, A Zalesov & Partners has cemented its reputation as one of the most renowned IP boutiques in Russia. “Everything is handled with a high level of speed and efficiency, and the team shows initiative and facilitates communication,” report clients. “The experts intimately understand Russian patent law and know the pitfalls to avoid, examining different angles and leaving no stone unturned.” The outfit has recently acted in a string of patent invalidation cases on behalf of industry titans such as Philip Morris, Novartis and R-Pharm, the Russian distributor of Bristol Myers Squibb-produced cancer treatments. Founding partner Aleksey Zalesov has made patent invalidation his specialism, having successfully invalidated more than 40 Russian and Eurasian patents since 1993. Educated at the Moscow Engineering Physics Institute, the engineering and physics don is described as a “superb litigator, experienced IP specialist and excellent team leader who handles all cases to a high standard”. The firm has also been chalking up the wins in patent infringement cases, going out to bat for Teva Pharmaceuticals against Hungarian company Geedeon Richter and bringing a two-year battle to close for AO Pharmasynthez. Leading on both matters was Irina Ozolina, who has appeared in more than 150 court and administrative IP disputes throughout her 18-year career and is also a safe pair of hands for transactional briefs. The similarly multi-talented Maria Makhlina combines patent litigation prowess with a keen nose for patent searching. She drafts watertight patent and industrial design applications for companies and inventors from Europe, the United States and Japan.

ARS-Patent

The bespoke, A-to-Z offering at ARS-Patent makes it one of Russia’s premium patent firms, attracting the attentions of heavyweights such as Philips and Xiaomi. Thorough and efficient filings – both in Russia and throughout the Eurasian Patent Convention region of seven other former Soviet republics – are a specialty. Ticking all boxes is managing partner and patent practice head Mikail Khmara, whose academic background in physics and fine-grained understanding of IP law make him ideally placed for briefs at every stage of the patent lifecycle. Kirill Osipov heads up the legal department and has the magic touch for life sciences players such as F Hoffmann-La Roche, having previously been a scientific researcher at the Institute of Experimental Medicine in St Petersburg. Another mover and shaker in the life sciences space is genetic engineering specialist Ilyana Lipatova, who files and defends biotechnology, pharmaceutical, genetics and organic chemistry patents across Russia and Eurasia. Founding partner Vladimir Rybakov has seen and done it all throughout 30 years in the game, putting in polished performances at the Russian and Eurasian patent offices, before the courts and at the deal negotiating table.

Baker McKenzie

Global juggernaut Baker McKenzie provides the gamut of patent services from offices in Moscow and St Petersburg. Its airtight patent applications ensure that costly and time-consuming office actions are avoided; and should litigation arise, the team offers robust, well-informed representation. The decisions it has secured in the Russian IP Court have often influenced the approach of Rospatent; and it also has a flair for the fine print of complex technology transactions. Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) IP head Eugene Arievich is hailed as “the grandfather of intellectual property in Russia”; peers report that he “provides effective and comprehensive responses to even the most complex patent litigation issues”. Leading on the litigation and enforcement side is the “talented” Denis Khabarov, a particular favourite of US pharmaceutical giants. His counterpart on the prosecution side, Yuri Pylnev, has had an illustrious career, having served as deputy director of Rospatent’s patent examination department and as IP head of the Russian Atomic Energy Agency. He draws on this experience to secure protection for inventions in fields as varied as telecommunications, pharmaceuticals and oil and gas. Working alongside him is fellow patent attorney Vladimir Belkov, whose practice has a biotechnology focus. For transactional issues, software and technology expert Margarita Divina is the one to call – she also has useful ancillary unfair competition knowledge and has made appearances before the Russian Anti-monopoly Committee.

Euromarkpat

With eight bases located across Europe and Asia, Euromarkpat has enviable geographic reach, which it leverages astutely to provide a precision prosecution service. The Moscow contingent has been diligently and prolifically filing Russian and Eurasian patents and providing comprehensive support to innovators across the region since 1993. Today it is home to a technically proficient team of patent and trademark attorneys, several whom come equipped with doctorates.

Gorodissky & Partners 

Gorodissky & Partners is feted as “the clear leader” in the Russian patent prosecution market: its stratospheric filing numbers eclipse those of the competition year after year. In 2019, for example, the firm processed a massive 43% of all patent applications that crossed the desks at Rospatent. Dedicated sub-departments for disciplines such as chemistry, biotechnology, electronics and physics, a specialist patent search department and advanced software platform Gorodissky IP Management make for a sophisticated service tailored to the individual needs of each client. Heading up the patent practice is electronics, computer systems and audio and video engineering maven Yury Kuznetsov, who covers all angles of oppositions and appeals before the Russian and Eurasian patent offices and undertakes meticulous IP due diligence work. Other star patent attorneys include Natalia Nikolaeva, Evgeny Alexandrov and Sergey Dorofeev. Nikolaeva is a font of wisdom for international players, advising on contentious matters across Russia and beyond; while PhD Alexandrov is an IP renaissance man whose practice encompasses patents, trademarks, software protection and trade secrets. Mechanics head Dorofeev has carved a niche in the oil and gas industry, where he undertakes administrative actions, litigation support and technology transfer briefs with verve. Also well versed in mechanics, as well as electronic engineering, is managing partner Valery Medvedev, who steers the ship with a steady hand while making light work of patent prosecution, infringement and technology transfer instructions. Spearheading the life sciences division, Elena Nazina devises future-proofed patenting programmes in the pharmaceutical, veterinary, and crop protection spaces, and puts in frequent appearances at Rospatent and in the commercial courts. For transactional matters, look no further than Sergey Medvedev, who recently advised Huawei on a significant cross-border deal: “Sergey provides the full scope of services, has deep knowledge of the Russian market and is available round the clock, adapting to changes in circumstance on a same-day basis.”

Gowling WLG

For support at every stage of the patent lifecycle, Gowling WLG is a persuasive option – it is as confident handling sweeping worldwide portfolios as it is duking it out in court at a domestic and international level. Prestigious recent instructions include taking care of prosecution for Russian state nuclear agency Rosatom at home and abroad; and filing several patent applications for Honeywell International in relation to refrigerant fluids and insulation materials. Responsible for both briefs is David Aylen, who has spent the last 12 years of his three-decade career as managing partner of the firm’s Russia/CIS office. He operates flawlessly on both sides of the contentious/non-contentious divide, and since arriving in Russia has made a significant contribution towards improving the country’s IP legal landscape. Fulsome support comes from fellow all-rounders Vladislav Ugryumov and Alexander Christophoroff. Disputes, IP due diligence and licensing are all in a day’s work for life sciences sage Ugryumov; while Christophoroff is a dual-qualified patent attorney and attorney at law who has set precedents both in the general and commercial courts and at Rospatent. On the pure prosecution side is electronics, software and mechanics ace Vitaliy V Lebedev, who gained crucial insight from a stint as a patent examiner at Rospatent and from his work as a patent specialist for a Russian aircraft manufacturer.

Hogan Lovells

The IP practice at Hogan Lovells enjoys a stellar reputation across Europe and beyond, and the Moscow team is no exception. Its A-to-Z offering encompasses the astute development and protection of patent portfolios, the formulation of multi-jurisdictional enforcement strategies and potent contentious capabilities – its tenacious litigators frequently defend high-multinationals against attacks from Russian non-practising entities. In recent months, the firm has been doing battle for healthcare titans Bristol Myers-Squibb, Novartis, Astellas Pharma and Johnson & Johnson in commercially critical patent infringement disputes against generics producers – a campaign masterminded by Natalia Gulyaeva and Vironika Pilyugina. Qualified in both Russian and English law, managing partner Gulyaeva stands out for her seamless coordination of cross-border disputes and incisive guidance across sectors from life sciences to telecommunications. Right-hand-woman Pilyugina enters the IAM Patent 1000 on a wave of praise for her portfolio management prowess and her staunch representation of pharmaceutical, automotive and consumer goods clients before Rospatent, the commercial courts, the customs authorities and the Russian Anti-monopoly Committee.

Papula-Nevinpat

Finnish headquartered Papula-Nevinpat has had boots on the ground in Russia for the last 30 years, during which time it has turned prosecution into an art form for the benefit of corporations from Europe and further afield. Tobacco, energy and pharmaceutical multinationals have the firm on speed dial for its meticulous approach and technical insight in disciplines ranging from mechanics to electronics and life sciences. At the vanguard is veteran patent attorney Alexander Polikarpov, a familiar face at Rospatent who has perfected the drafting of Russian (and previously Soviet) patent applications during a career which began back in 1965.

Patent & Law Firm YUS LLC

Home to eight Eurasian patent attorneys and an impressive 25 Russian patent and trademark attorneys, Patent & Law Firm YUS provides a full-bodied patent prosecution service to a glittering international clientele. Samsung Electronics, Nestlé, Xiaomi and Airbus are among those which call on the firm for Russian patent filings; while German bottlecap manufacturer Alcopack and Russian food supplement business Biokor have also enlisted it to defend their patents and industrial designs at Rospatent. Head of inventions Denis Levchuk garners rave reviews: “Denis and his team have a personal approach and a modern way of thinking, which make it very easy to communicate. He has good social skills, his work is of a high quality and he has an extensive international network.” On the transactional side, Andrei Svistov has recently helped to get lucrative licensing deals inked on behalf of Nestlé, Bristol Myers Squibb and S7 Airlines.

PATENTUS

Litigation is a central pillar at PATENTUS, which earns kudos from competitors for its formidable contentious capabilities. However, its offering is reassuringly well rounded: this year it has also been busy filing patents for players such as oil and gas firm Blackjack Production Tools, seafood producer Dalpromryba and medicinal chemical manufacturer Severnaya Zvezda ZAO. Handling all of these matters is head of patents and life sciences whizz Alexey Mikhailov, who is praised by peers as a “standout practitioner”; he draws on his enforcement nous to devise bulletproof patenting strategies. He recently teamed up with Dmitry Markanov to defend Northern Star Pharmaceutical company in an IP Court case which hit the headlines when the Eurasian Patent Office stepped in as a third party on the opposing side. Managing partner Markanov previously led the in-house IP department of a Russian automotive company and has acted in hundreds of IP Court cases over his storied career.

PETOŠEVIĆ

PETOŠEVIĆ has a total of 30 patent attorneys, agents and consultants on deck across its network of 16 Eastern European bases, the newest of which was set up in Kazakhstan in May 2020. This reach is further extended by close affiliations with top firms in jurisdictions such as Armenia, the Czech Republic, Moldova and Turkmenistan. In Moscow, 10 lawyers and paralegals provide commercially focused patent prosecution services in fields as varied as food and drink, machinery, chemistry and agriculture. Making the magic happen is Ivan Nagornykh, a former Rospatent examiner who handles national and Eurasian patent applications on behalf of many European IP firms, as well as innovators in the mechanics, medical equipment, IT and electronics spaces.

Skolkovo Intellectual Property Center

Located in the Skolkovo Innovation Centre, Russia’s answer to Silicon Valley, IP Centre Skolkovo is ideally placed to nurture the home-grown unicorns of tomorrow, while also tending to the needs of myriad international players. One of the top 10 filers at Rospatent, the outfit has lately handled applications for the likes of electronics giant ZTE, food manufacturer Orion and Russian pharmaceutical company Fusion-Pharma; while on the contentious front, it represented biotechnology group JSC Bioamid in a patent invalidation action. For almost two decades, managing partner Anton Pushkov has helped clients to maximise the value of their intangible assets, from conception and registration all the way through to enforcement and licensing. At his side is patent practice head Dmitry Kotlov, who brings an extra dimension to the practice as a former state expert at Rospatent. He processes patent applications and conducts patent landscape analysis with a hawkish eye for detail, while also appearing in administrative proceedings.

Sojuzpatent 

Established after the dissolution of the Soviet Union, Sojuzpatent is the oldest IP firm in Russia and today remains one of the country’s elite prosecution players, processing more than 2,000 national patents over a 12-month period. Its deep bench of practitioners has all technical bases covered for a high-profile client base: the group has recently undertaken patent filings for household names such as Sony, Honeywell, Huawei and Renault; and orchestrated infringement actions for Russian mobile network operator TELE-2 and home heating device company ATM. Captaining the patent department is deputy managing partner Tamara Fomicheva, who holds a PhD in chemistry and was previously head of the organic compounds department at Rospatent.

Vakhnina and Partners

“A dependable and diligent firm whose service is prompt and customised, Vakhnina and Partners demonstrates a high level of patent drafting and prosecution expertise, provides detailed advice on litigation and always considers the particularities of Russian law. It is impossible to overemphasise the high quality of its work.” Colgate Palmolive, Xiaomi and Asian healthcare company UNICHARM all appreciate its support with patent applications and oppositions; while on the contentious front, its advocates have been bringing the heat in a range of invalidation suits. Giving the group its name is founding partner and law PhD Tatyana Vakhnina: “She is accurate and helpful, always performs in the best interests of her clients and will always find a solution for any problem or challenge.” Co-founder Alexey Vakhnin also holds a PhD – this time in medicine and biochemistry – and is hailed as “one of the best in Russia, especially for pharmaceutical and herbicide patents”. “Alexey is an extremely dynamic professional, who is zealous about his work and profession – an excellent patent attorney with outstanding client-facing skills. His ability to generate options and manage client expectations is also outstanding. He is always well informed and has a deep understanding of IP law in Russia and the surrounding region. His energy, enthusiasm and die-hard attitude make him a winner.” He has recently been dealing with Colgate’s prosecution and opposition needs alongside patent department head and chemistry PhD Elena Utkina, who earlier in her career was a deputy director of the Russian Patent Office, and acted as a major developer of the Patent Prosecution Highway between the Russian and Japanese PTOs.

Other recommended experts

Based at Baranchikov IP & IT Attorneys, Oleg Abramenko is a software expert and talented mathematician who gets optimum results on prosecution and licensing briefs in the IT field. Also at Baranchikov, the eponymous Alexander Baranchikov puts in resonant performances in IP-related administrative proceedings and litigation; his linguistic command of Spanish and Chinese is an added bonus for international clients. Ivanov, Makarov & Partners co-founder Mark Chizhenok has played a role in many precedent-setting patent disputes in the chemistry space and comes highly recommended by UK colleagues. At Zuykov & Partners, mechanical engineer Olga Dolgikh is as confident prosecuting patents as she is defending them, especially in the software field. She also boasts valuable industry experience from a stint at an automotive and tractor electrical equipment company. Formerly a mechanical engineer, Mikhail Mozhaisky is a Swiss Army knife of a patent lawyer who files patents in areas from aerospace to telecommunications, acts in infringement revocation actions and advises on licence and technology transfer agreements; he is founder and managing partner of Mozhaisky IP. Kosenkov & Suvorov’s Konstantin Suvorov is a trusted adviser to pharmaceutical, high-technology and oil and gas companies, at both a domestic and international level; IP litigation and unfair competition matters both fall within his bailiwick.

Individuals: litigation

Individuals: prosecution

Individuals: transactions