New regulations of examination of administrative disputes became effective on September 6, 2020. This has been a long awaited event because the old rules were in work from 2003.
Many of the new rules have been used in practice before because the Russian law underwent numerous changes from 2003 in relation to the administrative disputes.
In particular, one of the new provisions concerns the procedure of taking decisions by the patent office and not by the Chamber of Patent Disputes. In fact, the Chamber of Patent Disputes prepares a report only while the patent office takes a decision based on that report. If the head of the patent office or another person authorized by him deems that the report prepared by the Chamber of Patent Dispute is not well based, such case is sent back to the Chamber for reconsideration.
The rules also provide a wide use of electronic communication of the parties in the dispute with the Chamber of Patent Disputes. In particular, the hearings of the board of the Chamber may be conducted with remote participation of the parties.
Also deadlines for examination of the disputes have been made shorter.
A very important distinction of the new rules over the old rules is that the new rules waive limitations of the rights of the parties who filed appeals and other documents on submission of new arguments to support their claims.
Removal of those limitations in conjunction with the right of the members of the board to consider new circumstances show that the new rules are based on the concept that the administrative procedure differs from the court procedure and allows not only competition of the parties during the procedure but also the right of the patent office to act more broadly in order to correct mistakes made earlier when an official action of refusal or that of grant was issued by the patent office.
Also the rights of the patent owners to modify the claims have been enlarged. Unlike the existing practice these changes are limited only in that the claims cannot include features not disclosed in in the specification of the invention or utility model, and also the features violating unity of invention.
On the other hand, the rights of the patent owners are limited in that they may only lessen the scope of protection.
Some of the changes may possibly be interpreted and explained after some practice of the patent office and of the IP court.