The IP court will be the first specialized court in the system of the Russian Arbitrazh (federal commercial) courts. The court is expected to start working no later than 1 February 2013. It will deal with patents and trademarks invalidation cases as the Court of First Instance and infringement cases as the Federal Cassation Court.

The Federal Law on Amending Acts of Legislation in connection with the creation of an Intellectual Property Court was ratified in November 2011 and came into effect on 8 December 2011.

As the Court of First Instance, the IP court will consider claims of individuals and legal entities against regulations and decisions taken by federal authorities, mostly by the Russian Patent and Trademark Office (PTO), involving IP rights, in particular patents and trademarks invalidation and cancellation cases as well as patent ownership disputes.

As the Federal Cassation Court, the court will consider IP right infringement cases between legal entities and/or individual entrepreneurs. The cassation rulings of the court will be reviewed by Higher Arbitrazh Court of Russia.

Due to the traditional importance of a higher legal education of judges in the Russian court system, the judges will have a legal and not an entirely technical background. However, the judges will be supported by technical specialists appointed by the court.

According to a transitional provision, claims for trademark cancellations due to non-use are to be filed as of 8 December 2011 with the Moscow Arbitrazh Court instead of the Chamber of Patent Disputes of the Russian PTO.

IP practitioners expect from the newly established IP court an increase of professionalism and legal approach with regard to IP-related judgments in Russia. The separation of appeals against PTO decisions and invalidation and cancellation actions from PTO-subordinated bodies is expected to be another positive change for both practitioners and clients.