At the end of August 2012, the Supreme Commercial Court of the Russian Federation (the “SCC”) ruled that the application of differentiating amounts of patent duties based on the respective country of residence is illegal and unsubstantiated.

These provisions are considered void as of the date of issue of the SCC’s ruling (28 August 2012). The SCC ruled that the provisions should not be voided as of the date of the new act (Decree No. 941 of the Government of the Russian Federation, dated 10 December 2008) on establishing uniform patent tariffs that came into force on the date of Russia’s accession to the World Trade Organization (22 August 2012, thereby preceding the SCC’s decision). Consequently, non-residents may not seek compensation for payments which they had already remitted.

Nevertheless, this ruling should have a favourable effect on the investment climate, as it confirms that foreign investors may seek recourse in Russian courts, even if their disputes are with state bodies.

[Ruling No. VAS-52123/12 of the Supreme Commercial Court of the Russian Federation, dated 28 August 2012] [Decree No. 781 of the Government of the Russian Federation “On Amending the Provisions on Patents and Other Duties for Legally Registering Patents on Inventions, Useful Models and Industrial Designs with the State Registration of Trademarks and Service Marks and with the State Registration and Assignation of the Exclusive Rights to Name Goods Using the Location of Origin, as well as with the State Registration of the Transfer of Exclusive Rights to Other Parties and Agreements on Disposing of These Rights”, dated 15 September 2011]