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 IP law is set out in Part IV of the Civil Code. The 2014 revision amended hundreds of provisions in order to make the law more business friendly. Highlights include the following:
- IP deals have been streamlined. Licensees and other IP rights-related contracts no longer need be registered in full. Rather, only a short notification including some basic information must be filed with the Patent Office to inform it of the deal.
- Design law has been amended, dispensing with the long list of essential features. Now, only pictures of the design are required as the basis for examination.
- There have been substanial changes to utility models, which were introduced to streamline the process for small inventions, but which suffered from widespread abuse by patent holders. Utility models are now subject to a full novelty examination, which will hinder the activities of patent trolls.
- Compensation for patent infringement has been introduced in cases where it is difficult to prove damages, in order to put patents on an equal footing with trademarks.
These are only a few examples of the plethora of amendments made to the IP law.
It is hoped that these amendments will make it a happy and properous new year for rights holders in Russia.
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