The IP Court was created in accordance with federal constitutional law in late 2011 and will resolve the vast majority of disputes involving IP rights (for further details please see "New IP Court aims to improve judicial system"). The IP Court will be the primary venue for challenging Rospatent (the Russian patent office) decisions concerning the validity of registered intellectual property as well as judgments of arbitrazh (ie, state commercial) courts in IP infringement disputes. The IP Court will act as both the court of first instance and the court of cassation.

According to the Supreme Arbitrazh Court's Resolution on the Introduction of the IP Court, the IP Court began operations on July 3 2013. The IP Court has since been responsible for considering both claims and cassation appeals. Information on cases can be accessed through the arbitrazh case file service on the Supreme Arbitrazh Court's website (www.arbitr.ru/eng/).

Since the IP Court began operations, claims and cassation appeals on IP matters filed by companies have been considered exclusively by the court. Statements of claim and cassation appeals accepted by other arbitrazh courts before July 3 2013 will be heard by those courts.

As the court of first instance, the IP Court resolves disputes involving challenges to acts of the federal authorities in the IP area as well as various disputes related to the grant or termination of legal protection for intellectual property, including decisions of the federal anti-monopoly authority on unfair competition actions concerning bad-faith accrual of IP rights.

As a court of cassation, the IP Court will consider cases that it previously resolved as a court of first instance, as well as cases related to protection of intellectual property resolved by other arbitrazh courts across the country. The court is also authorised to resolve all disputes mentioned in/assigned to it by federal legislation, regardless of the parties involved in the case. Decisions issued by the IP Court as the court of first instance can be appealed only by a cassation appeal and will enter into force immediately on adoption. The IP Court resolves IP disputes collegially at first instance and at cassation, while the presidium of the IP Court will hear cassation appeals in cases considered by the IP Court at first instance.

Now that the IP Court is operational, all statements of claim filed by companies that fall within the court's exclusive competence should be submitted directly to the court. If a company files a claim that should be considered by the IP Court with another arbitrazh court, the claim will be returned to the applicant. If a company submits a cassation appeal against judicial acts that were issued by another court before the IP Court began operations, the review of these acts will be carried out by the IP Court.

For further information on this topic please contact Denis Khabarov at Baker & McKenzie - CIS Limited by telephone (+7 495 787 2700), fax (+7 495 787 2701) or email (denis.khabarov@bakermckenzie.com).

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