Russia shows its commitment to IP protection by introducing a specialized intellectual rights court (the IP Court). The relevant legislative changes were adopted in December 2011, with the active phase of establishing the court beginning several months ago. The IP Court is intended to ensure the proper adjudication of IP disputes which are noted for their complexity.

Jurisdiction of the IP Court

The IP Court plays a two-fold role in the Russian court system: it acts as the court of first instance in intellectual property cases (e.g., revocation and patent invalidation cases1) and as the cassation court2 for its own cases as well for IP cases heard by the arbitration courts (e.g., infringement cases). Figure 1 outlines the competence of the IP court in more detail.

Procedure

Whether the IP Court acts as the court of first instance or as the cassation court, cases will not be heard by a single judge. A panel of judges will hear cassation appeals against decisions of other arbitration courts, while the Presidium of the IP Court is the cassation court for decisions of the IP Court as the court of first instance. Cassation rulings of the IP Court or its Presidium can be appealed to the Supreme Arbitration Court that exercises supervision powers. The system of hearing IP disputes is illustrated in Figure 2.

Transition period

The IP Court was officially formed in February 2013 but, as its opening date is yet to be announced by the Supreme Arbitration Court, it is important to consider the implications of the “transition period.” If a lawsuit against a revocation decision of the Russian PTO was filed with the Arbitration Court of Moscow before the opening of the IP Court, the case will not be transferred to the IP Court, but rather, adjudicated by the Arbitration Court of Moscow with the subsequent appeal (if necessary) filed to the 9-th Arbitration Appellate Court. However, in this case the cassation appeal would be not be filed to the Federal Arbitration Court of the Moscow region but to the Presidium of the IP Court, which is expressly indicated as the cassation court over cases which were heard by arbitration courts of first instance and arbitration appeal courts before the opening day of the IP Court.

Judges

The IP Court is presided over by Lyudmila A. Novoselova, an ex-judge of the Supreme Arbitration Court, who is an unexpected choice as she is known as a corporate law specialist. A minimum of 15 judges is required for the IP Court to operate. At the time of writing, according to the official web-site of the IP Court, 13 judges have been appointed. It appears from their biographies all of them have previously worked in the arbitration court system. Details on the judges are set out in the appended list.

Location and readiness

The IP Court is located in a building that is currently under repair at the centre of Moscow (Mashtakova St., 13), not far from the Supreme Arbitration Court. Considering that the IP Court is in the process of purchasing cars and equipment and hiring administrative staff, we expect it to open in April, 2013 or sooner.

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Judges of the Intellectual Property Court

Judge Previous occupation IP experience
Lyudmila A. Novoselova (Presiding Judge) Judge of the Supreme Arbitration Court Not known
Vladimir A. Korneev (Vice-Presiding Judge) Head of the public law and process department of the Supreme Arbitration Court PhD in intellectual property, publications on intellectual property issues, participated in the reform of IP legislation
Dmitry A. Bulgakov Arbitration Court of the Belgorod Region Not known
Diana I. Mindrya Federal Arbitration Court of the Urals Region Not known
Elena Y. Pashkova Assistant to the judge in the Supreme Arbitration Court Additional education in intellectual property, publications on intellectual property issues
Nikita N. Pogadaev Arbitration Court of the Udmurt Republic Tried IP cases
Sergey P. Rogozhin Arbitration Court of the Ulyanovsk Region Not known
Roman V. Silaev Arbitration Court of the Tversk Region Not known
Alexander A. Snegur 17-th Arbitration Appellate Court Not known
Nikolay N. Tarasov Arbitration Court of Moscow Tried IP cases
Viktor A. Khimichev Arbitration Court of the Orlovsk Region Not known
Tamara V. Vasilieva Arbitration Court of Moscow Tried IP cases
Sergey M. Ukolov Arbitration Court of the Lipetsk Region