Protection of intellectual property in Russia is at a high level – Trademark
The success of economic development depends to a large extent on innovation. The countries where many inventions are created and patented are leaders in the world economy. In turn, intellectual property is the basis of innovative development. Like any property, it must be protected. The law firm “Gorodissky & Partners” is the largest and one of the oldest Russian companies in the field of intellectual property. Its lawyers and patent attorneys started their practice in 1959. The firm is well known all over the world, it is among the 10 largest law firms in Europe and has an extensive network of branches in different regions of Russia. Vladimir Biriulin, Russian patent lawyer, head of special projects, deputy managing partner of the law firm “Gorodissky & Partners”, told our publication about the mechanism for protecting the interests of intellectual property owners.
– Vladimir Ivanovitch, what can you say about the scope of intellectual property protection in Russia today?
– Russia is a country rich in intellectual potential. The legal mechanism for the protection of intellectual property (IP) owners in our country is well developed and all the problems have been solved by legislation, both in terms of IP registration and the protection of owners’ rights. Since 2013, there has been a court specializing in intellectual rights, which over the years has accumulated a great deal of experience in dealing with disputes in this area. Commercial courts are also very competent to resolve intellectual property disputes… The number of trademark applications, patent applications for inventions and industrial designs is increasing every year in Russia. Unfortunately, the commercialization of intellectual property is not very developed. In my opinion, our companies do not yet sufficiently understand that patents and other IP can be a source of big profits. For example, a valuable invention will undoubtedly bring revenue, and to a large extent, if you sell the license to use it. That’s why, of course, we would like to see more business activity in the area of intellectual property commercialization.
“And what prevents that from happening?”
– I think one of the reasons is that the implementation of inventions is quite “long-term money” and not everyone is willing to invest to benefit from it in the distant future. Moreover, the implementation of inventions is a risky business, what is planned does not always succeed. In addition, many companies today are in financial difficulty and are not ready to invest in intellectual property. However, it should be understood that the value of intangible objects in many innovative global companies even today exceeds the value of tangible objects. In Russia, this trend is not yet so pronounced, but there are already companies with very expensive intangible assets, for example, in the oil sector, and if we are talking about strategic business planning, then this risk, of course, is justified.
– How common are violations of intellectual property rights in Russia today? How often do people come to you with these issues?
– The infringement of intellectual property is a common phenomenon all over the world; it is not specific to our country. We have enough work to do as the company has expertise across the full spectrum of IP-related jurisdictions, from filing and filing with patent offices to assisting and defending in court. . We handle approximately 150 to 200 lawsuits per year (including administrative and civil). About 75% of them are successful. In addition to the protection of intellectual property rights, we also deal with related issues – protection of personal information and data, taxation in the field of intellectual property, because these issues are closely related to the protection of intellectual property rights.
If we talk about Russian specifics in the field of intellectual property, today in our country there are much fewer registrations of rights to inventions than there are registrations of trademarks. As a result, there are far fewer court cases involving infringements of invention rights than cases involving infringements of trademark use rights. Unfortunately, not all manufacturers register their trademarks in time yet, so that they can be encroached upon and registered by “pirates”. A trademark is a dynamic object, it can be registered quickly, and for potential infringers, the temptation is great to take advantage of it. We can strip pirates of their illegal trademark rights in court, and the rightful owners often get a decent refund from the infringer, but it’s a pretty complicated process and a lot less inconvenient and financially more profitable to get it all done on time. Of course, inventions must also be registered.
I must point out that sometimes we are also able to solve all the problems within the framework of the pre-trial procedures. If we see a violation of our customer’s rights, sometimes all we need to do is write a letter to the violator and he or she will stop the violation. Otherwise, we have to go to court.
– With the development of technology, has it become easier to take advantage of someone else’s intellectual property?
– The Internet offers virtually unlimited opportunities for content distribution, so there are many abuses and infringements related to the illegal use of intellectual property, including trademarks and copyrights, and the number number in the thousands. The company has a special unit that deals with tracking copyright violations on the Internet. We draw our customers’ attention to the violation of their rights, and further actions depend on the position of the rights holder.
– How aware do you think our companies are of the commercial opportunities of intellectual property?
– Unfortunately, not enough. We do a lot of educational work in this area. In 2022 alone, which is still ongoing, we held over 100 different events with speeches from our employees. We publish explanatory articles on various aspects of intellectual property. This year we have published more than three dozen articles in the Russian press and dozens in the foreign press.
I’m sure the government can be more active in this process, helping companies register their inventions and then commercialize them. Of course, they would in return have the right to ask the companies what was done and how the invention is being used. It would be beneficial for both parties. The state would allocate additional funds for the development of scientific potential, and enterprises would receive a new incentive to develop and introduce new technologies.
– What do you think is more effective for companies today – seeking IP services from outside law firms or acting independently?
– Large companies have their own patent agents who deal with patenting inventions and registering trademarks, but it seems to me that it is better to go to a professional company, because if the company is deals daily with the registration of rights and their protection, he has a lot of experience and he knows how to act in the most difficult situations. By the way, such services are not so expensive, the losses can be much greater. For example, obtaining a patent for an invention today is quite easy – in the public domain there are guidelines on how to do this, but if, for example, the claims are written incorrectly, an infringer can imagine how circumvent the patent, and the owner may suffer heavy losses, because he cannot protect his rights.
At the same time, today we are the only law firm in Russia that operates in the field of intellectual property in accordance with the requirements of the international standard ISO 9001: 2015, we confirm this every year, which guarantees high quality of services and compliance with global standards. quality management standards.
– What is the relevance in the current environment of the protection of intellectual property in international activities?
– Despite the changes taking place in the economy, in business relations, the question is still topical. This is a two-way process, and among our customers there have always been and still are many foreign companies doing business in Russia using their technology. These technological solutions must be protected against unfair use. Thus, despite the sanctions that have been imposed on Russia, the protection of the intellectual property rights of foreign companies is fully effective. Some time ago the Western media began to write a lot about the fact that the intellectual property of foreign companies is not protected, that anyone who wants to can use trademarks and inventions – this is not true, we have done and are doing a lot of work to disavow such insinuations. International trade cannot develop without the protection of intellectual property rights, its effective development would simply become impossible.
Originally published by Russian Business Guide by Busines DIALOG Media 32/195, September 2022
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