After the retirement of the former chief of the Federal Service of Intellectual Property (generally known as the 'Patent Office'), the position was vacant for almost a year. Although it functioned normally, no important developments could take place. The Patent Office is overseen by the Ministry of Economics and deals with patents, trademarks and copyright (as far as it concerns software and integrated circuits). For some time there has been discussion in the government that IP regulation should have a new dimension, as the importance of intellectual property is continuously growing.
A new head of the Patent Office has now been appointed: Grigory Ivliev, former deputy minister of the Ministry of Culture. He is not new to IP issues – he was previously head of the legal department of the Russian Duma and actively participated in drafting Part IV of the Civil Code, which regulates all aspects of intellectual property.
The new appointment is far from routine. With the arrival of a new chief, the Patent Office will be raised to new heights. In addition to issues that it regulates at present (ie, inventions, utility models, designs, trademarks, plant varieties and animal breeds, computer software and data bases, topologies of integrated circuits), the office will also be responsible for large-scale copyright (eg, music, films and literature). Its position will also change: rather than being part of the Ministry of Economics, it will be directly responsible to the government, emphasising its importance. The office will be known as the Federal Service for Regulation of Intellectual Property and its remit will cover not only the existing Patent Office, but also other sectoral ministries and bodies which are connected to intellectual property. The statute setting out the broader responsibilities of the new office is expected to be promilgated in Autumn 2015.
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