The all new Russian Intellectual Property (IP) Court has been officially constituted and has commenced sitting and hearing cases. This represents a significant milestone in the advancement of intellectual property protection in Russia.

On July 2, 2013, the Plenum of the Supreme Commercial Court of the Russian Federation approved the commencement of the new IP court which is based in Moscow. All the legislative changes required for the creation of the court were already approved in December 2011.

The IP Court is part of the larger system of arbitrazh or commercial courts. The IP court will hear matters pertaining to the review of decisions made by ROSPATENT (the Russian Federal Service for Intellectual Property) including patent and trademark revocation cases that are first tried by the Chamber for Patent Disputes, an administrative body with Rospatent. It will also determine issues of IP ownership and authorship, and the cancellation of trademark registrations for non-use amongst other things.

The IP Court will also act as a cassation (second appeal) court for IP infringement cases decided in commercial courts of first instance and first appeal courts.

The IP court is headed by Lyudmila A. Novoselova, an ex-judge of the Supreme Commercial Court. In addition to judge Novoselova, the IP court has appointed 12 other judges, some of whom have IP experience or a technical background.

The institution of the new specialized IP court in Russia evidences the Russian Government’s commitment to IP protection and the better harmonization of its laws with those of other countries.

Over the last several years Russia has been steadily fostering a more friendly environment that is conducive to innovation and entrepreneurship. The IP Court follows the recent creation of the Skolkovo Foundation by former President Medvedev. Skolkovo is a giant technology and innovation hub created and funded by the Russian Government and is located just outside of Moscow.

It is also expected that the IP Court will play a significant role in helping to protect the IP rights of innovators and brand owners during the upcoming Sochi Olympics to be held in early 2014. Typically at such events there is a huge need to enforce IP rights against ambush marketers, counterfeiters and parallel importers and the new court is expected to provide an efficient, reliable and transparent mechanism for combating abuses of IP.

The new IP court is located in the centre of Moscow (Mashtakova St., 13), near the Supreme Commercial Court.

Additional details about the IP court published in March 2013