Russia

The Russian patent space continues to face challenges due to US sanctions dating back to 2018, but it seems to be weathering them well and is viewed as a thriving emerging market by the continent at large. The country’s somewhat byzantine laws can be daunting for international entities seeking to exploit their intellectual property in the jurisdiction; thankfully, there are myriad knowledgeable and globally minded patent practitioners on hand to guide them through the complexities. The government’s green-lighting of compulsory licensing for patented drugs is a major success story for the generics industry, which is now driving a significant rise in litigation. As elsewhere in Europe, life sciences entities are increasingly focused on obtaining supplementary protection certificates; although regulators have apparently become more conservative in granting them.

Firms: litigation and transactions

Firms: prosecution

  • ARS-Patent
  • Gorodissky & Partners 
  • Sojuzpatent 
  • Baker McKenzie - CIS Limited
  • Euromarkpat
  • Gowling WLG 
  • IP Centre Skolkovo
  • Patent & Law Firm YUS LLC
  • Vakhnina and Partners
  • Baranchikov IP & IT Attorneys
  • Hogan Lovells (CIS)
  • Papula-Nevinpat
  • PATENTUS
  • PETOŠEVIĆ
  • Zuykov and partners

A Zalesov & Partners Patent & Law Firm 

Since opening for business in 2017, A Zalesov & Partners has established itself as a force to be reckoned with on the Russian IP market, particularly for litigation and transactions. This year it has handled numerous high-stakes patent infringement cases for high-profile international clients – including Canon, for which it prevailed in the Moscow Arbitration Court. The firm is also celebrated for the results it secures in patent invalidation proceedings for the likes of Teva Pharmaceuticals: it enjoys a phenomenal success rate of 76% in such cases, largely thanks to name partner Aleksey Zalesov. “Responsive and easy to work with”, the well-credentialed attorney at law and Russian and Eurasian patent attorney is currently president of the Russian branch of the International Association for the Protection of Intellectual Property (AIPPI). “He is very persistent, very educated and has excellent English language skills.” Co-founder and senior partner Irina Ozolina is likewise triply qualified and regularly acts in patent infringement and invalidation disputes for household names such as Teva and Ericsson. Like Zalesov, she also plays a role in the local branch of the AIPPI, serving as executive secretary.

ARS-Patent

Think patent firms in Russia and ARS-Patent is one of the first to spring to mind. Established as a three-person partnership in 1993, the firm has shrewdly built on these humble beginnings and now maintains a mighty team of 26 patent and trademark attorneys. For innovators of everything from spacecraft to pharmaceuticals, it provides expert filing, prosecution and advisory services; and has lately also expanded into contentious territory. Managing partner and physicist Mikhail Khmara, has experience developing and examining superconductors and semiconductors, which he draws on when drafting and prosecuting patents and conducting searches in the electronics and metallurgy fields. Also brimming with technical ability are genetics boffins Ilyana Lipatova and Kirill Osipov. Lipatova deftly shepherds applications through to grant at the European Patent Office and the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO); while the “extremely thorough” Osipov represents pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies before the Russian and Eurasian Patent Offices and the Russian courts. “Kiril immediately understands the needs of clients and finds the best manner to support them in Russia.” Also at the heart of the practice is director Vladimir Rybakov, a mechanical engineer who benefits from a stint as head of intellectual property at a St Petersburg scientific research institute.

Baker McKenzie - CIS Limited

Demonstrating “deep professional expertise, a client-tailored approach and readiness to provide quick and effective legal aid on complex tasks”, the Russian contingent of global colossus Baker McKenzie offers the full spectrum of patent services from offices in Moscow and St Petersburg. On the prosecution side, it recently won a tender to work on a sprawling international project for atomic energy group ROSATOM; the formidable team handling this includes Yuri Pylnev, an alumnus of the organisation and former deputy director of the patent examination department at Rospatent. He has linked up with Russian Patent Attorneys Association board member Eugene Arievich and Denis Khabarov, an “extremely knowledgeable partner” who has also been kept busy this year leading on an invalidation case on behalf of Gilead Sciences. In the words of one international client: “Denis is always reachable and makes sure that our needs are well catered for. The Russian system is difficult to understand and having him on our side helps us immensely.” Also deserving of merit are Margarita Divina and Vladimir Belkov. Divina is a technology and software expert who has been racking up contentious and transactional successes at the firm for the last 17 years; while Belkov’s forte is pharmaceuticals.

Baranchikov IP & IT Attorneys

The “ambitious” Baranchikov has carved a niche as a go-to for software matters in Russia. It seamlessly blends high-technology patent expertise with contractual and corporate know-how to offer an all-in-one commercial service. Talismanic founder Alexander Baranchikov holds a PhD from the Russian State Academy of Intellectual Property and previously served time at a string of elite Russian law firms considered leaders in the IP field. He has litigated dozens of civil law cases in the Russian courts and has an affinity for computer programs, databases and microcircuits – a passion he shares with research and modelling systems PhD Oleg Abramenko. Abramenko is a brilliant mathematician, having won numerous academic competitions in the subject, and recently co-designed the IP course at the Open Technology Academy.

Euromarkpat

Hailed as “one of the best in Russia for patent prosecution”, Euromarkpat is among the most prolific patent filers in the country. The firm reaps handsome dividends from its very strong team, with young talent working alongside some of the wisest, most experienced attorneys on the market. It offers end-to-end advice and support on all aspects of patent protection to patrons in Russia and beyond, leveraging its network of offices across Europe and Asia to provide a truly global service.

Gorodissky & Partners 

Gorodissky & Partners is a titan of the Russian IP scene: “It files thousands of patents – more than all of the other firms put together.” This ability to process prodigious volumes of applications is just one of its virtues, however; the ensemble has “many high-end professionals, who provide top-quality patent prosecution services”. Managing partner Valery Medvedev is a mechanical engineer and aeronautics expert and firm favourite among companies from Korea, Japan and other far-flung jurisdictions; his international mindset is typical of the firm. Japanese clients are equally at home working with Alexander Vasilets, Evgeny Alexandrov and Elena Nazina. Designs expert Vasilets has been dispensing sage advice internationally for more than three decades. Alexandrov earns rave reviews from foreign patrons: “It is easy to work with Evgeny, as he takes a high level of responsibility and comes with clear suggestions on strategy informed by a complete knowledge of the Russian legal and court system. He is a true partner in whom you can place complete trust.” Renowned for her perspicacious patent infringement opinions, Nazina heads the life sciences group and also makes a vital contribution to the oil and gas practice, which is spearheaded by Sergey Dorofeev. A graduate of Moscow Power Engineering University, he captains the mechanics group and has spent his 20 years with Gorodissky advising Russian companies on their patent portfolio development and IP strategy in Europe, North America and Asia. Conversely, Natalia Nikolaeva helps international companies to manage their IP rights in Russia, while also conducting due diligence reviews for Russian corporations and banks. Steering the patent practice with a steady hand is Yury Kuznetsov, a computer equipment and electronics aficionado known for his meticulous work on licensing and technology transfer briefs.

Gowling WLG 

The Moscow office of Gowling WLG is a crucial component of the firm’s potent international network and has enjoyed a healthy 10% growth year upon year for the last decade. A hub for patent prosecution and enforcement throughout the former Soviet states, it serves as a gateway to the region for international clients of all stripes. Canadian native and managing partner of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) practice David Aylen serves as the first point of contact for foreign clients seeking to protect their intangible assets in Russia. A wellspring of strategic and practical advice, he has lately been involved in big-ticket portfolio management for Russian state nuclear agency ROSATOM, working alongside Vitaliy Lebedev. Lebedev is a software, electronics and mechanics specialist with abundant experience from previous roles as a specialist for an aircraft manufacturer and an examiner at Rospatent. The firm has also recently been handling a major patent infringement suit on behalf of telecommunications giant Nokia; this and numerous other high-stakes disputes bear the fingerprints of Alexander Christophoroff, a dual-qualified patent attorney and attorney at law who is “one of the best in the country for patent litigation”. His sparkling track record has landed him the presidency of the Russian Chamber of Patent Attorneys. Vladislav Ugryumov wields significant clout on the life sciences side, duking it out for clients before the Russian courts, the Russian and Eurasian patent offices, and patent offices across the CIS.

Hogan Lovells (CIS)

Hogan Lovells’ Russia contingent comes hotly tipped for its “attention to detail and creative thinking”. With Natalia Gulyaeva at the helm, it has recently been litigating on behalf of Google on the high-technology front; and for Novartis, Bristol-Myers Squibb and Johnson & Johnson in the life sciences. That so many prestigious blue-chips have instructed it over the course of a single year bears testament to the quality of its output and the versatility of its practitioners. Gulyaeva is highly skilled in portfolio management, dispute resolution and all manner of transactional tasks, particularly in the life sciences. Whether working with domestic companies in Russia and the CIS or coordinating multi-jurisdictional litigation, “her level of preparation and knowledge is exceptional – her fighting spirit is so strong that nothing is insurmountable to her. Natalia is also very attentive to clients’ needs and ready to accept reasonable criticism and amend the strategy accordingly, which reflects her high level of learning agility and flexibility in terms of addressing commercial concerns”.

IP Centre Skolkovo

A unique location in the Skolkovo Innovation Centre Russia’s answer to Silicon Valley positions IP Centre Skolkovo right at the heart of the nation’s pulsating innovation hub. Servicing the needs of both Innovation Centre residents and external companies, it puts the deep technical expertise and diverse backgrounds of its patent attorneys to good use on original drafting and prosecution mandates in Russia and beyond. The firm is one of a select few in the jurisdiction that can file and prosecute on clients’ behalf in the United States, thanks to the presence of Dmitry Kryndushkin, who is registered to practise before the USPTO. Kryndushkin’s erudition is evidenced by a PhD in biophysics and authorship of more than 30 publications in international academic life sciences journals. Alongside routine filing work, he conducts patent searches and prepares freedom-to-operate and patentability opinions. At his side is managing partner Anton Pushkov, who previously led the IP practice at Linklaters. In addition to patent registration, licensing, and commercialisation, he is an expert in the adjacent area of data protection.

Papula-Nevinpat

Finnish IP powerhouse Papula-Nevinpat has had an outpost in Russia for nearly 30 years and over the years has cultivated a profound knowledge of the market. This proves invaluable both to domestic clients and to European entities looking to protect their intellectual property in Russia and Eurasia. The Russia team offers comprehensive patent services consistent with those of its esteemed mothership in Finland, encompassing filing and prosecution, portfolio management and strategic IP advice.

Patent & Law Firm YUS LLC

Established 25 years ago, Patent & Law Firm YUS is one of the oldest and most powerful firms on the Russian scene. Its muscularity enables it to handle high-calibre instructions for a colourful catalogue of industry leaders, including Samsung Electronics, Xiaomi, Airbus Operations and Indian Oil Corporation. Brimming with technical talent, seven of its number hold PhDs. The commander-in-chief is Denis Levchuk, an attorney who “perfectly understands clients’ needs, listens carefully and makes things happen”. An expert in the niche area of plasma physics, his ability to assist both domestic and international companies is bolstered by his triple language facilities in Russian, English and German. “Denis is a master in his technical field regarding patent practice in Europe and very specifically in Russia.” “He is proactive, straightforward and provides a high-level service, with all work being completed as promised in a cost-effective and quality manner.” Also recommended is transactional maven Andrey Svistov, an authority on computer programs, databases and the topology of integrated circuits; he combines this technical know-how with business sense in order to successfully commercialise intellectual property.

PATENTUS

The full-service PATENTUS provides a 360-degree patent offering, from initial searches to original drafting, oppositions at the Chamber for Patent Disputes and high-profile patent infringement suits. Chemistry and life sciences are happy hunting grounds, but it also represents innovators in the automotive and industrial engineering fields. The head of patents is “famous chemistry specialist” Alexey Mikhailov, who is intimately familiar with enforcement procedures in Eurasia, the CIS and beyond. One of the most active patent filers by volume in Russia, he is also adept at teasing out solutions to licensing and technology transfer challenges. Managing partner Dmitry Markanov is a litigator with hundreds of cases on his CV. His thoughtful, business-savvy outlook is informed by a stint in the IP department of a major Russian automobile manufacturer.

PETOŠEVIĆ

PETOŠEVIĆ covers the spectrum of patent services from 16 offices across Eastern Europe including a newly minted base in Minsk, Belarus, which opened its doors last year. The Russian ensemble focuses on enforcement including the enforcement of patents before the Russian Intellectual Property Office for players in areas as diverse as food products, chemistry, agriculture and mechanics. The main attraction is Ivan Nagornykh, who draws judiciously on his experience as an examiner at the Russian Patent Office when filing and prosecuting both national and Eurasian patent applications in all technical sectors.

Sojuzpatent 

Storied prosecution shop Sojuzpatent was the first outfit of its kind to be established within the former Soviet territories, and over the years its talented practitioners many of whom are former Rospatent employees have earned it a sterling reputation. “Sojuzpatent is in the top three prosecution firms in the country and you have to praise it. It is hard to compete with,” admit competitors. The roll call of industry heavyweights enlisting its services is hugely varied: the likes of Honeywell, Huawei, Sony and Renault have all knocked on its doors in the last year to avail of its prosecution and filing acumen. It is equally busy on the contentious front, managing patent infringement and validity suits for clients from across Europe. It is also making forays into transactional work, and recently got signatures on the bottom line of a significant merger for Nestlé.

Vakhnina and Partners

A well-earned position in both Russian tables bears testament to Vakhnina and Partners’ versatility: whether clients require assistance with portfolio management, licensing or disputes, it has all bases covered. Meanwhile, a robust network of trusted contacts ensures that it can effortlessly dispatch matters across the Eurasian region. Founder and mechanics expert Tatyana Vakhnina leads a formidable team, including dynamos Alexey Vakhnin and Elena Utkina. Educated to PhD level in medicine and biochemistry, Vakhnin is the firm’s managing partner and was recently made a member of the International Federation of Intellectual Property Attorneys. Utkina has incomparable insider knowledge from her previous role as deputy director of Rospatent; among other things, she was one of the architects of the Patent Prosecution Highway programme between Rospatent and its Japanese counterpart. With regard to this stellar group, one client enthuses: “I have always found them to be efficient and professional for issues we have worked on together. Equally, they are also extremely charming and personable as individuals.”

Zuykov and partners

Established more than 15 years ago, Zuykov and partners is home to a 20-strong team of IP experts, which includes many Russian and Eurasian patent attorneys steeped in the intricacies of mechanics, electronics and chemistry. In addition to processing large volumes of filings on behalf of foreign patent agencies as far away as Germany and China, Zuykov & Partners attracts direct instructions from international A-listers such as Xiaomi. Head of patents Olga Dolgikh is a mechanical engineering doyenne who earned her stripes at the Russian State Institute of Intellectual Property; these days, she puts her skills to use on patent searches, filing and maintenance, and validity disputes. One satisfied collaborator reports: “I feel secure placing my trust in Olga because of her responsiveness, professionalism and can-do attitude.”

Other recommended experts

Mikhail Mozhaisky of the eponymous Mozhaisky IP is a mechanical engineer who drafts copper-bottomed patents for technologies in fields ranging from aerospace to therapeutic equipment and telecommunications; he also undertakes infringement and revocation actions, and drafts technology transfer and licence agreements with precision. Working out of Kosenkov & Suvorov, Konstantin Suvorov has spent 15 years successfully representing leading Russian and international pharmaceutical, technological and oil and gas companies. The mathematician and physicist complements his IP practice with arbitration and unfair competition law briefs.

Individuals: litigation

Individuals: prosecution

Individuals: transactions