Authors: Erikas Saukalas, Associated Partner, Attorney-at-Law, Head of the International Relations Division at METIDA, Aurimas Sobutas, Junior Lawyer at METIDA
On 1 October 2014 new amendments of the Russian Civil Code with regard to the intellectual property regulation entered into force. These changes were mostly related to licensing agreements and are particularly important to entrepreneurs, investors or others intending to invest into Russian market, as well as authors of literature, science and art.
- The amendments have eased a requirement to register the licensing agreement. This will benefit entrepreneurs, authors, trademark and design proprietors, as the agreement can now take effect immediately after its signature and not registration (as it used to be prior to the amendments).
- Restrictions have been set with regard to no-cost contracts too. Specifically, they cannot be concluded between the commercial entities when such licence is available worldwide; it is exclusive and term less.
- The amendments also introduced open licence. This type of license will allow the public to use authors’ works of science, literature or art under the set licensing terms.
- New measures to fight against piracy were also introduced. According to the current amendments, right holders are entitled to block any content that has been published online without their consent. This is expected to reduce the damage caused by copyrighted objects posted publicly online.
- Civil and penal liabilities for trademark infringement were reinforced too, e.g. in case of counterfeit goods production.
When reviewing the IP rights protection in Russia, we should also look into the works and achievements of the specialised IP rights court that has been operating in Russia since 2013. Firstly, the quality of the litigation proceedings has been improved. Secondly, the Research and Advisory Board of the court has been established which helps the court by providing analytical information of various aspects related to the rules of solving legal disputes. Finally, the court has the power to seek advice from scientists, IT professionals and legal experts when in need of the scientific approach. Consequently, this leads to the better quality of court judgements.