Region: Russian Federation

Changes herald a happy and prosperous new year for rights holders

This has been a memorable year in the IP field as it witnessed significant reform of the Russian IP legislation. Changes of this calibre do not happen often. The 2014 revision amended hundreds of provisions in order to make the law more business friendly, including streamlining IP deals and simplifying design law.

10 December 2014

McDonald's wins right to play music

Russian law protects the rights of performers and this policy is reflected in the activities of a number of collective rights management organisations. One such organisation, the All-Russian Society for Intellectual Property, recently failed in an action seeking fees from McDonald's for playing music in its restaurants.

12 November 2014

Inexorable XEROX

The Moscow Appellate Court recently ruled on an action brought by Xerox Corporation against a Russian person who had registered an internet site under the name ''. As well as finding that there was confusing similarity between the trademark and the domain name, the decision dealt with the issue of which court is competent to hear IP rights disputes.

24 September 2014

Life gets harder for collective rights management organisations

Collective rights management organisations wield considerable power: they make claims for the unauthorised performance of music, collect remuneration for the public performance and pay that remuneration to the relevant performer. This business model worked smoothly until recently, when the High Commercial Court issued a ruling that complicates this process.

27 August 2014

New IP legislation friendlier for rights holders

The first Russian IP laws were not adopted until 1992, but the IP legislation has come of age quickly. Forthcoming changes to the legislation are intended to make the regime friendlier for rights holders. The result is a comprehensive set of laws which complies with the requirements of international law and practice.

16 July 2014

Lady in Blue: an unlikely sidekick for IP protection

The State Hermitage Museum initiated a case against a Russian fashion designer alleging that the designer had used the painting <i>Lady in Blue</i>, by English painter Thomas Gainsborough, for commercial purposes. Although the courts eventually upheld the plaintiff's claim, doubts remain over the outcome of the court procedure.

02 July 2014

Anti-piracy law breaks the ice

In Summer 2013 the <i>Duma</i> adopted a law allowing a rights holder to block websites carrying unlicensed content. If the rights holder discovers such content on the Internet, it may submit a complaint to the court asking for an injunction and for the site to be blocked. Enough time has now passed since the adoption of the law to show that it works.

12 March 2014

Grey imports in disguise

The issue of parallel imports has undergone many turns, retreats and advances over the years. The courts issued divergent judgments and interested parties have engaged in heated arguments for and against parallel imports. At last, the courts have reached a logical conclusion: rights holders must have full control over the use of their trademarks in Russia.

26 February 2014

Intellectual property goes to market

Russian law provides various ways of commercialising intellectual property. The owner of a patent or trademark may assign it or grant a licence, and franchising is also becoming more popular. Further, in December 2013 the second Russian IP auction was held, resulting in deals of more than Rb60 million.

22 January 2014

IP regime to see major changes in 2014

The new year holds much promise for rights holders and business in Russia. The IP Court will acquire even more importance with the merging of the Supreme Commercial Court into the Supreme Court, and the expansion of the Customs Union will have a major impact on the Russian IP landscape.

15 January 2014

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