Russia

Russia’s patent practitioners have been under pressure this year. US sanctions have led to a loss of American business in a market sharply divided between domestic offerings and international giants – in many cases, with Chinese clients stepping in to occupy their former berth. Since the February 2018 adoption of the Geneva Act of the Hague Agreement Concerning Industrial Designs, Russian authorities have also been sending out encouraging signals on IP rights. Meanwhile, the Moscow Arbitration Court’s decision to allow a Russian generic pharmaceutical company to produce an analogue of a major US drug for domestic sale constituted a milestone in compulsory licensing and a hugely positive one for the Russian generics industry. Alongside other interesting developments, such as those relating to second medical use patent licensing, these decisions make the Russian life sciences scene a fascinating spectacle for domestic and international observers alike.

Firms: litigation and transactions

Firms: prosecution

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

A Zalesov & Partners Patent & Law Firm

Clients are swift to endorse A Zalesov & Partners: “the firm is incredibly responsive, and the quality of its advice is consistently high. It explains issues succinctly and takes a highly commercial approach, too. Added to this, on a personal level, its practitioners are also extremely pleasant to deal with and very approachable.” “They have in-depth understanding of technical issues, which enables them to devise the best filing and prosecution strategies. Instead of simply following instructions, they always go one step further – they give proactive advice and act very quickly.” Combining litigation and prosecution services into one seamless package has underpinned the ensemble’s exceptional growth; since its foundation in August 2017, A Zalesov & Partners has multiplied its client numbers tenfold. Leading the charge is name partner Aleksey Zalesov, a seasoned litigator with more than 15 years’ experience in the most high-stakes cases. “Hugely respected by his peers”, Zalesov is “a very experienced and skilful practitioner – the strongest patent litigator in Russia right now”. His ability to service most technical areas under the sun is shared by partner Irina Ozolina, whose 15 years’ winning experience is indicative of the highest quality.

ARS-PATENT

Already possessing a formidable prosecution and filing operation, St Petersburg’s ARS-PATENT has recently strengthened its practice by becoming even more active on the litigation stage. The “reputable and well-respected” outfit has 25 years’ experience working with a broad spectrum of clients, across all technical fields. Standout filers include partners Vladimir Rybakov and Mikhail Khmara. Co-founder Rybakov is a patent attorney par excellence, used to formulating masterful strategies and providing expert litigation support in aviation, laser technology and electronics matters. His transactional dexterity also comes in handy for clients who cannot afford to entrust their licensing arrangements to anyone without the very finest technical expertise. Khmara is a metallurgy maven who specialises in performing meticulous prior-art searches alongside his licensing and filing capabilities. Also indispensable on the prosecution side is Ilyana Lipatova, who serves as a lodestone for pharmaceutical and biotechnology clients seeking wise counsel.

Baker McKenzie — CIS Limited

Providers of top-notch filing, litigation, transactional support and everything in between, Baker McKenzie is a global player with a refined, all-around service in the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). Perfect for “huge clients who need worldwide coverage”, it has excellent multi-jurisdictional response times and the ability to drench a case or portfolio in a deluge of technical expertise, no matter how esoteric the subject matter. Baker McKenzie’s standard is borne aloft by head of IP litigation and enforcement Denis Khabarov. A well-known courtroom ace, he balances his contentious and non-contentious work adroitly, with biopharmaceutical giant Gilead among the most famous consumers of his comprehensive expertise. Also banging the drum for the firm is Eugene Arievich, a knowledgeable drafter and artful courtroom advocate with myriad connections to international bodies of commerce. Yuri Pylnev is a true renaissance man: a former Rospatent official, he combines his outstanding filing and litigation practice with prolific publishing on IP topics. His “speed in replying to questions” and originality are prized by clients, as is his outstanding past experience in organisations including Rosatom, the Russian Atomic Agency. On the prosecution side, patent attorney of 20 years Vladimir Belkov has personally drafted more than 180 patent applications, making use of finely honed knowledge gained from in-house work at top medical and biopharmaceutical research institutes. Servicing clients’ transactional needs is Margarita Divina, a whip-smart licensing attorney with deep insight into what drives complex multi-jurisdictional deals.

Baranchikov IP & IT Attorneys

For IT, internet, software and other data-rich and technological matters, Baranchikov IP is the top destination in Russia. Managing a one-stop shop offering genuine technological expertise, the partners at Baranchikov are used to dealing with technology clients and truly understand what makes their intellectual property special. The standout Alexander Baranchikov takes the reins when things get acrimonious – his rare proficiency in the software patent niche attracts clients from Russia and much further afield. “He is very responsive, offers clear advice and represents very good value for money. His attention to client care is exceptional.” As well as his “go-to” litigation capabilities, Baranchikov is a safe pair of hands: a man who can be relied on to never drop the transactional ball. Specialising in patent prosecution, former Kaspersky software engineer Oleg Abramenko possesses all the technical acumen that one might expect given his experience. Practising in Russian and English, he serves clients such as New Cloud Technologies, which entrusts him with its worldwide portfolio, and Lanit, one of the most famed IT companies in the country.

Euromarkpat

The “big and professional” Euromarkpat has contributed much to the development of the Russian and Eurasian patent system over its 25-year history. Straddling the Eurasian landmass with offices from Germany to Uzbekistan, this IP hotbed ensures comprehensive patent protection across numerous borders. An array of talent is to be found under the firm’s umbrella, running the whole gauntlet from prosecution to transactional support.

Gorodissky & Partners 

The “first name in filing”, Gorodissky is a “prosecution giant” with “deep strength across all technical fields”. “A big IT powerhouse, historically responsible for a very significant share of the market in patents and trademarks, it is a well-oiled machine.” “It is the number one in prosecution – much better developed than any other company. It has no competitors, and more than 450 people in its team. All procedures are well established, and this will never change.” There are so many star prosecution names at Gorodissky that it is hard to do them all justice. Managing partner Valery Medvedev leads the pack – having worked in France and the United States as well as Russia, he has been a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the Russian Court for IP Rights since 2014. This is alongside his outstanding filing and strategic work in mechanical and electrical engineering patents, which showcases his “deep theoretical knowledge”. A man “well-qualified in patent prosecution”, head of patent practice Yury Kuznetsov excels in a wide range of areas: his versatile drafting covers patents from semiconductors, through radio transmission equipment, to weapons and ammunition. Alexander Vasilets knows his strategic stuff, with clients from all over Europe and Asia flocking to him for sound designs advice. Elena Nazina, the head of the chemical and life sciences department, crafts bulletproof applications in pharmaceuticals, perfumery, cosmetics and most other forms of organic chemistry; she is also the one to call for assured commercial advice and opposition work. On the transactional side, head of mechanics Sergey Dorofeev is a double threat: his filing and licensing work is impeccable, with no mechanical area beyond his intellect and experience. Moscow and London-educated Natalia Nikolaeva, based in Novosibirsk, is an assured choice for practical and lucid patent counsel. Although the firm garners more illustrious prosecution plaudits, Gorodissky also maintains an elite litigation offering; its contentious arm has several pre-eminent practitioners. Evgeny Alexandrov is at his best when battling NPEs in the courtroom, as his glittering track record in enforcement shows. Polyglot and head of legal practice Vladimir Biriulin liaises with clients in four languages; his 20-year career at Gorodissky means that he has seen it all when it comes to tricky IP snares.

Gowling WLG 

“Gowling WLG is a leader in the Russian market… it’s an excellent firm with a solid patent practice.” The Canadian giant’s Moscow office is, indeed, full to bursting with top patent talent on both sides of the contentious/non-contentious divide. Its success is down to both the quality of its work and its deep networks within the country: Gowling WLG is “a success story” because it reaches Russian clients that other international firms struggle to. A star player in the litigation sphere is managing partner David Aylen, whose plentiful experience defending the rights of global companies includes a rare victory against Rospatent on behalf of wine titan Pernod Ricard, alongside some impressive transactional work. A virtuoso filer and prosecutor, Vladislav Ugryumov is the real deal when it comes to dispensing farsighted, business-minded guidance, especially in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology sectors. “A trusted resource, he is very responsive to enquiries and always provides helpful advice and answers. Vladimir is also technically proficient and truly gracious with his time.” Rounding off the litigation team is Alexander Christophoroff, a genuine veteran in the Russian disputes and transactional space. Vice president of the Russian Chamber of Patent Attorneys, the dual-qualified IP maven is equally at home in the backroom and the courtroom; his is a name that clients know they can rely on. Another name to trust is Vitaliy Lebedev, whose exemplary strategic work on behalf of Rosatom has turned many prominent heads. A patent agent with years of experience at Rospatent under his belt, he is a magnet for mechanical industry players.

Hogan Lovells (CIS)

Multi-jurisdictional behemoth Hogan Lovells is at its best when carrying out highly effective contentious work on behalf of pharmaceutical originators, to which it owes much of its reputation. Unafraid to try new approaches and craft original arguments in the courtroom, the firm is often as innovative as its clients. Natalia Gulyaeva heads up both the IP, media and technology practice group and the regional life sciences practice group, in addition to her thriving practice, which encompasses dispute resolution, portfolio management and transactional work. Gulyaeva’s skills transcend jurisdictions – she is admitted to the Bar in England and Wales as well as Russia, and speaks five languages, all of which add an extra dimension to her litigious capability.

Papula-Nevinpat

The “big and professional” Finnish firm Papula-Nevinpat continue to impress the rest of the Russian market – the first foreign IP company to enter the country, it now has more than 20 years’ experience serving Eurasian clients. Offering outstanding prosecution, risk analysis and patent landscape analysis as part of a broader suite of services, the firm has managed to reproduce the sheer quality that characterises its Finnish offering in Saint Petersburg. Papula-Nevinpat’s clients cannot go far wrong with its astute advice.

Patent & Law Firm YUS LLC

Noted for its outstanding success rates as much as for its venerable history in Russia, Patent & Law Firm YUS LLC is an IP boutique that maintains excellence through an intense focus on what matters to clients. Hitherto known more for its prosecution, YUS also now possesses a litigation offering that “is very highly regarded within Russian circles” and is expanding its international client base (especially in Asia) at a remarkable speed. In the words of a client: “YUS is very easy to collaborate with, since its work is always cost effective and high quality. Its level of service goes above and beyond.” With seven PhDs in its ranks, YUS is well-equipped to deal with most technical areas, including genetics, mechanical engineering and life sciences. Clients and other practitioners alike rave about Denis Levchuk, a mathematics and physics doctor who works tirelessly to uncover new patentable inventions and destroy offending applications on behalf of those lucky enough to enjoy his services. “Denis is an outstanding attorney and is greatly skilled in his particular technical fields for both prosecution and litigation matters; he is very easy to communicate with, to the point, and has a great understanding of clients’ needs – exactly what you expect and require.” “A reliable and capable partner, he is not only well prepared and responsive, but also shows that all-so-important emotional intelligence by fully understanding his clients’ needs.” Leading the transactional element of the practice is Andrey Svistov, the firm’s executive director and a man who knows a complex deal-structuring opportunity when he sees one.

Patentica Ltd

Described as one of the “usual suspects” in Russian patent prosecution by a competitor, Patentica is a “reputable, well-respected firm” full of IP talent. Lean, efficient and agile, the firm offers foreign companies its intimate knowledge of the Russian and CIS IP landscape – saving them time, effort and a world of stress. Patentica’s filing practice spans all of the main technical areas in Russia, while its attorneys are of consummate professionalism and quality – and clients simply cannot get enough of the overall package.

PATENTUS

PATENTUS is a firm that takes genuine pleasure in its work, especially when the time comes to enforce or oppose complex chemicals and life sciences briefs. Unlike some competitors, it prefers to compose applications from scratch rather than translating and modifying them for the Russian system; this approach has gained PATENTUS an outstanding domestic reputation for quality and laid the foundations for myriad productive professional relationships. The young, enthusiastic team say that patent work is still like an enjoyable hobby for them, a refreshing attitude that is surely reflected in the level of focus and attention given to their output. PATENTUS’s equal strength in prosecution and litigation is exemplified by Alexey Mikhailov, the dual-qualified maverick at the centre of all that the firm does. His life sciences knowledge underpins his formidable patent work, which this year has been on behalf of a varied range of clients, including Arena LLC, a furniture manufacturer, and Northern Star, a leading generic Russian pharmaceutical company. Dmitry Markanov is another of the firm’s standout practitioners – a strong, finely-tuned courtroom advocate, he always selects the arguments that land.

PETOŠEVIĆ

PETOŠEVIĆ is a famous name in Russia and the CIS countries: the “go-to firm for IP disputes in Eastern Europe”, according to one top continental competitor. The pan-European outfit has cleverly managed to combine the reach and reputation of a large, multi-jurisdictional firm with the reasonable rates and personal touch of a local practice – with predictably excellent results. Whenever a client approaches any of the 16 regional offices, they receive a personal contact with the keys to the whole network. PETOŠEVIĆ’s Moscow office is devoted largely to prosecution, the quality of which is guaranteed by the redoubtable Ivan Nagornykh. He ably traverses the full suite of IP services, building on his excellent experience at Rospatent to offer his clients only the finest filing services.

Sojuzpatent

Prosecution behemoth Sojuzpatent “has a long history in Russia”, with “well-established procedures” and an unrivalled ability to match attorneys to cases. It is, in fact, the oldest IP firm in the land, with roots that stretch back to the days of the Soviet Union; the very highest standards of stability and professionalism are guaranteed as a result. With 170 qualified IP specialists on both the contentious and non-contentious sides, Sojuzpatent fields a crack team of experts who bring valuable experience in official bodies, including Rospatent. Their statistics speak volumes: a success rate of a cool 97% far outstrips the market average, making the firm a canny choice for clients who cannot afford to opt for second-best. All in all, it is no surprise that Sojuzpatent counts companies such as Huawei (the world’s top patent filer by volume) and Sony among its illustrious roster of clients.

Vakhnina and Partners

“Vakhnina and Partners has a substantive track record in high-profile patent disputes, particularly in the pharmaceutical sphere.” This statement barely scratches the surface of the firm’s expertise: with its nimble-footed team leaping confidently from contentious to non-contentious matters across the whole gamut of CIS states, Vakhnina and Partners does it all. The outfit is spearheaded by the supremely talented and “highly thought-of” Alexey Vakhnin, recently elected as a vice president of the Russian Chamber of Patent Attorneys. His proficiency in filing, transactional work and all-around strategy are second to none, and clients love his intelligent and patient approach. Tatyana Vakhnina has seen it all, having been a fixture on the Russian patent scene for decades now. Her advocacy can swing cases. On the prosecution side, the excellent Elena Utkina is an ever-present fixture in clients’ address books.

Zuykov and partners LLC 

Clients seeking shrewd, coherent patent advice without the hassle should strongly consider going to Zuykov and partners. A firm with a track record of eye-catching results, it has been busy this year with an impressive programme of work, both inside and outside the courtroom. One recent pickup is MAN Truck & Bus AG, which now entrusts its Russian filing to Zuykov – a mark of the exceptional trajectory of the firm’s reputation in recent years. On the contentious side, the firm has recently been involved in an intriguing battle for Business Alliance LLC versus Dyson Technology Ltd, concerning vacuum cleaner designs. Pulling all of the strings is managing partner Sergey Zuykov, whose meticulous patent filing is matched only by his business acumen and insightful leadership.

Other recommended experts

Mark Chizhenok, of Ivanov, Makarov & Partners, is a tri-lingual, dual-qualified, single-minded patent practitioner with gold-plated legal and IP credentials. His litigation skills are deep and wide, ensuring he always hits the target – as might be expected from a top-level legal researcher. With a glistening CV, Mikhail Mozhaisky gives clients his full attention and never allows quality to slip at his firm, Mozhaisky IP. He is especially prized for computer hardware and medical device work, due to his academic background in mechanical engineering. Arta Law Firm’s Konstantin Suvorov is “an outstanding patent lawyer”, in the words of one top international colleague. Previously at KIAP, he is particularly renowned for the quality of his litigation and arbitration work; some of the world’s top pharmaceutical, financial and oil and gas companies are indebted to him for their courtroom success in Russia.

Individuals: litigation

  • Alexander Christophoroff - Gowling WLG
  • Natalia Gulyaeva - Hogan Lovells (CIS)
  • Vladislav M Ugryumov - Gowling WLG
  • Aleksey Zalesov - A Zalesov & Partners Patent & Law Firm
  • Evgeny Alexandrov - Gorodissky & Partners
  • Eugene A Arievich - Baker McKenzie – CIS Limited
  • David Aylen - Gowling WLG
  • Alexander Baranchikov - Baranchikov IP & IT Attorneys
  • Vladimir Biriulin - Gorodissky & Partners
  • Mark Chizhenok - Ivanov, Makarov & Partners
  • Denis I Khabarov - Baker McKenzie – CIS Limited
  • Dmitry Markanov - PATENTUS
  • Irina Ozolina - A Zalesov & Partners Patent & Law Firm 
  • Yuri Pylnev - Baker McKenzie – CIS Limited
  • Konstantin Suvorov - Arta Law Firm
  • Tatyana Vakhnina - Vakhnina and Partners

Individuals: prosecution

  • Yury Kuznetsov - Gorodissky & Partners
  • Denis Levchuk - Patent & Law Firm YUS LLC
  • Oleg Abramenko - Baranchikov IP & IT Attorneys
  • Vladimir Belkov - Baker McKenzie – CIS Limited
  • Sergey Dorofeev - Gorodissky & Partners
  • Mikhail Khmara - ARS-PATENT
  • Vitaliy V Lebedev - Gowling WLG
  • Ilyana Lipatova - ARS-PATENT
  • Valery Medvedev - Gorodissky & Partners
  • Alexey Mikhailov - PATENTUS
  • Mikhail Mozhaisky - Mozhaisky IP
  • Ivan Nagornykh - PETOŠEVIĆ
  • 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
  • Sergey Zuykov - Zuykov and partners LLC 

Individuals: transactions

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