Russia

The imposition of sanctions by Western countries, prompted largely by Russia’s actions in Crimea, has significantly affected the country’s economy. A reduction in the level of foreign investment has caused a marked dip in patent filing activity; on the other hand, commentators report that one positive side effect of the sanctions has been an increase in domestic innovation – for example, in the food and agriculture sectors. Also notable is the prevalence of Chinese companies in Russia, which are filing at a substantially increased clip, while more business from Japan is expected and already coming. Although the overall size of the market has not grown, the number of law firms undertaking patent work has, which has led to heightened competition for incumbent leaders such as domestic outfit Gorodissky & Partners and international player Gowling WLG.

Firms: litigation and transactions

  • Gowling WLG 
  • ARS-PATENT
  • Baker McKenzie - CIS Limited
  • Gorodissky & Partners
  • Hogan Lovells (CIS)
  • PATENTUS
  • Vakhnina and Partners

Firms: prosecution

  • Highly recommended
  • ARS-PATENT
  • Gorodissky & Partners
  • Recommended
  • Baker McKenzie - CIS Limited
  • Euromarkpat
  • Gowling WLG 
  • Hogan Lovells (CIS)
  • Papula-Nevinpat
  • Patent & Law Firm YUS LLC
  • Patentica Ltd
  • PATENTUS
  • PETOŠEVIĆ
  • Sojuzpatent
  • Vakhnina and Partners

ARS-PATENT

“A long-serving outfit on the Russian patent scene”, St Petersburg’s ARS-PATENT embeds itself within clients’ businesses, infusing them with the panoptical guidance necessary to prosecute patents in a challenging market. Major multinational operations in the automotive and pharmaceutical fields count on the firm’s “quick, pragmatic and precise” service – a quality offering driven by market standouts Vladimir Rybakov and Ilyana Lipatova. Managing director Rybakov has been an essential player in intellectual property for over 20 years; he channels his far-reaching technical expertise and transactional nous into securing rights protection and concluding rock-solid pacts for his loyal following. With “practical and academic experience in biotechnology and organic chemistry”, Lipatova has honed her craft to the point that she is now “a unique force” in intellectual property. “An excellent communicator, she provides well-structured, outside-the-box solutions to her customers.” One such client praises her “useable, high-quality proposals for overcoming objections raised by examiners at the Russian, Ukrainian or European patent offices”. Tasked with coordinating the patent department’s output, Mikhail Khmara boasts two decades in practice, over which he has amassed incredible experience.

Baker McKenzie - CIS Limited

Patent bloodhound Baker McKenzie is among Russia’s most redoubtable IP presences and commands respect for both its dynamic prosecution practice and its enviable faculty in courtroom encounters. With access to and influence in a globe-spanning IP network, the set plays home to a local contingent rivalling much of the group’s best talent abroad. Partner Eugene Arievich “created the IP practice there”; the supreme strategist has led on victories for IT, food and automotive companies and is on point for an ongoing series of instructions for Gilead Sciences. Rights guardian for a devoted base of domestic and international clients, former Rospatent resident Yuri Pylnev leads the non-contentious practice. The technically gifted prosecutor is a protection guru capable of stepping over the contentious/non-contentious divide whenever invalidation or infringement suits demand. A former head of intellectual property at ROSATOM’s research division, this year he takes charge of a significant patent portfolio belonging to his former employer. St Petersburg-based Vladimir Belkov is a former pharmaceutical researcher who now puts his expertise to use drafting rock-solid applications and effortlessly defending them when challenged. A steadfast negotiator, Margarita Divina has reached favourable outcomes in numerous complex agreements over the past year. As head of the licensing department, she is front and centre in discussions with authorities over compulsory licensing in the face of Western sanctions.

Euromarkpat

Arriving at Euromarkpat, rights holders find everything they could ever need. The famed set is “one of the best for patent prosecution”, while contentious matters are dealt with in-house, too. The rapid growth of the group over 25 years is testament to the firm’s appeal to regional players, with outposts across the former Soviet Union containing a vast spread of talent within their walls. The Moscow office boasts its own unique draw; it is the location from which Irina Aleksandrovna Vesselitskaya plies her trade. “One of Russia’s first patent attorneys and a top specialist in her field, Vesselitskaya is extremely experienced in securing rights protection.” She is also a calming voice in more heated encounters.

Gorodissky & Partners

“A huge IP machine, Gorodissky & Partners is the market leader; a clear first in patent filing, they’re among the best in litigation, too.” With more than 30 lawyers and a “very experienced line-up of individuals specialised in diverse technical fields”, the team “knows exactly what they’re doing”. National phase applications under the Patent Cooperation Treaty stand out as a particular speciality and form a large part of the iconic prosecution set’s handling of over 2,000 patent filings a year. Overseeing everything, patent head Yury Kuznetsov is “famed for his dedication and experience”. “A venerable player both in Russia and abroad”, he comes highly recommended by a demanding yet devoted audience. His colleague Alexander Vasilets holds the leadership of the designs department and is also an “outstanding” patent professional; “quick to react”, he is “informative and precise”, earning the gratitude of the countless rights holders he has represented before the Eurasian and Russian patent offices. Elena Nazina heads the chemical and life sciences division, her technical grasp covering a wide scientific catalogue. Her peers highlight her for her far-reaching talents, with one labelling her “consistently as good in prosecution as she is in a clash”. Nazina’s counterpart in the mechanics department is Sergey Dorofeev, an “excellent specialist” who consolidates the talents of a skilled prosecutor and a transaction expert in one accomplished operator. Dorofeev and Natalia Stepanova are the cornerstones of an esteemed transactional practice that is praised by the country’s most respected legal voices. Charged with the considerable task of managing such a substantial group, Valery Medvedev has less time than he used to for prosecution nitty-gritty; however, his mechanical and electrical nous and vast experience season any litigation with vital flavour. Legal co-commanders Vladimir Biriulin and Evgeny Alexandrov are key to success in court. “An incredibly experienced attorney”, Biriuilin is “known to everybody on the national scene” thanks to his years spent notching up court victories. Armed with a scientific background, Alexandrov boasts a remarkable breadth of expertise, covering all aspects of intellectual property, as well as a wide spectrum of technical disciplines.

Gowling WLG 

Stepping away from its international parent’s commercial full-service approach, Gowling WLG’s Moscow arm delivers a dedicated IP service with a hardcore patent focus. “Among global BigLaw operations, it’s the best in Russia,” while its “international mindset” ensures that it is a more attractive prospect for foreign rights holders than native rivals. “Extremely professional and highly proficient”, in both prosecution and litigation, the set is captained by managing partner David Aylen. “Incredibly competent and incredibly responsive”, Aylen gets stuck into complex instructions for clients of any hue, answering the call to arms in contentious and non-contentious instructions alike. Although best known for his prowess in the former, he has been tasked with expanding the portfolio of state agency ROSATOM, a campaign he has conducted with poise and vigour alongside Vitaly Lebedev. A talented prosecutor formerly based in the Russian Patent and Trademark Office (Rospatent) and subsequently in-house, Lebedev is a telecoms and electronics sage who distils complex technical issues into actionable IP strategy. With a keen commercial eye, Vladislav Ugryumov is a trusted partner to a pool of international pharmaceutical manufacturers, broadening their regional portfolios and then stepping up to defend them when the hordes inevitably attack. Peers hail Alexander Christophoroff as “an incredibly bright lawyer and one of the best of the best in litigation”. When not playing a decisive role in high-stakes battles in the construction and life sciences arenas, he showcases his well-honed negotiating talents on behalf of high-profile rights holders. He also helps to develop the national IP scene and currently serves as vice president of the Russian Chamber of Patent Attorneys.

Hogan Lovells (CIS)

An “innovative and knowledgeable” soldier in the war between originators and generic pharmaceutical manufacturers, Hogan Lovells’ Russian operation makes a stand firmly on the side of the former. Chalking up remarkable victories in a host of major clashes for the sector’s innovators, the set also undertakes both contentious and non-contentious toil on behalf of major players in many other industries. Google, Sony, Bayer and Janssen are just a small selection of those keen to take advantage of the “creativity and understanding” with which Natalia Gulyaeva approaches her briefs. “One of the leading IP experts in Russia, she listens to the company, learns from its in-house counsel, then quickly reacts; an agile litigator, she avoids her opponents’ traps and argues her case to the judge with absolute clarity.” She garners unanimous praise as a “reliable, customer-oriented and collaborative” lawyer, always looking for the best way to serve her clients’ interests.

Papula-Nevinpat

A renowned operation on the Finnish market, Papula-Nevinpat stepped across the border into Russia over two decades ago and has not looked back. The Russian office transposes the highly capable and focused prosecution capacity that is the hallmark of its parent network and expertly handles a vast amount of work for both Russian and foreign innovators. Every instruction handled by the company is overseen by “incredibly experienced prosecutor” Alexander Polikarpov, so buyers entrusting the company with their innovation receive both quality and consistency.

Patent & Law Firm YUS LLC

One of Russia’s longest-serving IP teams, YUS “capitalises on its mid-market offering, handling work beyond the capabilities of a smaller firm with a more responsive and personal approach than larger outfits”. Traditionally the rights protection reserve of domestic operations, the office has continued to expand, receiving instructions from greater and greater numbers of major multinational operations (including Samsung Electronics, Nestlé and Xiaomi) and setting up a sub-group for pharmaceutical and biotech concerns. Denis Levchuk heads a technically gifted team, every member of which is “a top-notch professional that’s easy to work with”. Levchuk himself is “a particularly skilled prosecutor” of whom one beneficiary effervesces: “I would recommend Denis without hesitation; insightful and responsive, he communicates clearly and appreciates the intricacies of Russian patent law.” Levchuck “stays up-to-date on every development” and expects the same of those under his command; successes overcoming obstacles such as refusal or infringement can be traced back to his thorough grasp of the invention at hand. The company’s “high-quality, cost-effective service” is rounded out by a strong showing in transactional instructions led by executive director Andrey Svistov. A patent attorney with a shrewd commercial eye, Svistov knows how to shop for an IP bargain, coming home with numerous favourable deals for his diverse following.

Patentica Ltd

One of the market’s more streamlined patent departments, Patentica is highlighted for its excellent patent filing work. The group is a standout before the Eurasian and Russian patent offices and one of the country’s top five filers of national phase applications under the Patent Cooperation Treaty. Its smaller size ensures that foreign associates and regional rights holders receive a more intimate service, as the set assists in developing strategies to suit any particular business plan – a service to which nascent operations swiftly flock. Consolidating extraordinary legal and technical expertise within its narrow ranks, the squad is more than capable of jumping the most common hurdles faced in any industry.

PATENTUS

A highly respected IP practice, PATENTUS comfortably earns its place in both prosecution and litigation rankings through its resounding performances on behalf of a high-flying national client base. An impressive contentious caseload keeps it firmly in the top three most-active litigators, while the prosecution arm continues to expand; the arrival of fresh talent has broadened access to its superb offering for operations beyond those in its traditional chemical and pharmaceutical strongholds. Taking charge of non-contentious endeavours, Alexey Mikhailov is “one of the best patent attorneys for life sciences work” and supervises the group’s wider technical forays. When disputes arise, Mikhailov teams up with well-seasoned litigator Dmitry Markanov to safely navigate opposition and infringement proceedings.

PETOŠEVIĆ

Working in harmony with offices across the Balkans, PETOŠEVIĆ’s Moscow office is a dedicated prosecution unit, devoted to providing rights holders in any technical sector with stellar representation before the Russian and Eurasian patent offices. Standing out for their particular expertise in mechanical engineering, a highly qualified line-up boasts diverse qualifications and experience amassed from many sources, including Rospatent and IP offices across the globe. “The group maintains an excellent response time and reports back on filings with remarkable clarity.”

Sojuzpatent

“One of the oldest firms on the market”, Sojuzpatent took an unprecedented hit in the last year with the loss of two highly respected individuals, but is rapidly climbing its way back up the mountain. The group has narrowed its focus to concentrate on delivering a high-quality prosecution service for a broad swathe of industrial players, crossing the contentious/non-contentious divide should devotees require. Still home to an accomplished line-up of technically astute professionals, the set continues to stock up on legal ammunition, ready to fight another day.

Vakhnina and Partners

Its small and agile team leaping nimbly between contentious and non-contentious instructions, Vakhnina is characterised by its blanket patent offering, which helps industry titans to sleep easier at night. A former deputy director of Rospatent, Elena Utkina now marches under this army’s banner, channelling her past life experience into expanding major multinational portfolios. Having been instrumental to negotiating the Japan Patent Office-Rospatent patent prosecution highway, she now safeguards the IP rights of numerous Japanese and Chinese players alongside Alexey Vakhnin. A talented prosecutor with a knack for striking a deal, he is a gifted technical expert whose talents are frequently deployed in contentious work for world-leading players in the consumer goods, automotive and telecoms arenas. He sets the technical rhythm of courtroom performances, while the eminent Tatyana Vakhnina plays lead, hitting all the right notes on the way to victory. She garners particular praise for her efforts on behalf of generic pharmaceutical outfits.

Other recommended experts

“Working with Daria Chernysh is always a pleasure”, enthuses one fan of KIAP’s IP commander; “diligent, capable and straightforward, she skilfully tailors a business-oriented IP strategy” for a number of major clients. With a broad roster of talents, she applies her prosecution and transactional nous toward realising the maximum value from innovation. The trilingual co-founder of Ivanov Makarov & Partners, Mark Chizhenok is an incredibly experienced attorney at law and patent attorney who has amassed expertise across a range of legal disciplines; when discussing the best patent litigators, peers assert that “Chizhenok deserves his place in the list”. A former presence in Russia’s best IP practices, Mikhail Mozhaisky has traded in the corporate feel of major law firms for a more hands-on approach at his eponymous boutique Mozhaisky IP. Of his appeal, peers effervesce, “Mikhail maintains an incredibly high-quality firm and is also a nice person to deal with”.

Individuals: litigation

  • Alexander Christophoroff - Gowling WLG
  • Natalia Gulyaeva - Hogan Lovells (CIS)
  • Vladislav M Ugryumov - Gowling WLG
  • Evgeny Alexandrov - Gorodissky & Partners
  • Eugene A Arievich - Baker McKenzie - CIS Limited
  • David Aylen - Gowling WLG
  • Vladimir Biriulin - Gorodissky & Partners
  • Mark Chizhenok - Ivanov Makarov & Partners
  • Dmitry Markanov - PATENTUS
  • Yuri Pylnev - Baker McKenzie - CIS Limited
  • Tatyana Vakhnina - Vakhnina and Partners

Individuals: prosecution

  • Yury Kuznetsov - Gorodissky & Partners
  • Denis Levchuk - Patent & Law Firm YUS LLC
  • Irina Aleksandrovna Vesselitskaya - Euromarkpat
  • Vladimir Belkov - Baker McKenzie - CIS Limited
  • Daria Chernysh - KIAP Attorneys at Law
  • Sergey Dorofeev - Gorodissky & Partners
  • Mikhail Khmara - ARS-PATENT
  • Vladimir Kuryshev - Kuryshev & Associates
  • Vitaliy V Lebedev - Gowling WLG
  • 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
  • Elena Utkina - Vakhnina and Partners
  • Alexey Vakhnin - Vakhnina and Partners
  • Alexander Vasilets - Gorodissky & Partners

Individuals: transactions

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