Federation of Russia: a new legislation paved the way for the creation of a Court dedicated to IP matters

A Court which has jurisdiction over Intellectual Property issues will come to light in the Federation of Russia by the 1st of February 2013. The aforementioned Court’s will work according to the following blueprint:

-The first instance will tackle issues pertaining to the validity of Intellectual Property rights. The Court will have jurisdiction over the appeals of decisions issued by the Rospatent, Russian Trademarks and Patents Office. The goal of this Court is to tackle principally the patents, trademarks and designs registrations which were refused and the decisions which pronounced the nullity of trademarks and patents. In addition, the Court will be the appeal Court for the decisions of the Antitrust Federal Service for unfair competition infringements.

-There is no possibility to lodge an appeal against the decisions issued by the said Court. The decisions issued at the first instance will be implemented immediately.

The legal actions which raise the question of the validity of trademark for lack of use will be tackled by the Arbitral Court of Moscow during the transitional period. It seems that it is more telling to speak about a Court dedicated to industrial property as Copyright is not within the realm of competence of the Court. At the inception, the Court is the result of the growing awareness of the loopholes of Russian Courts and magistrates which are not specialized in IP matters. The Courts’ decisions are issued after long years of work and the Courts were completely overloaded by complaints which were highly technical. 30 magistrates will work hand in hand in order to alleviate the hurdle of the technical nature of IP issues. They will be specialized in IP and could be assisted by independent experts. Each and every case will be examined cautiously by several magistrates or a sole president.

The location of the aforementioned Court remains unknown up till now. Notwithstanding, there are some hints that the Court will be built in Skolkovo, a hectic hub near to the capital. The incentive of the creation of this Court took its place within a wider framework and evidences the strong willingness of the Russian Federation to protect adequately and efficiently IPR’s. Arguably, the Russian Federation ratified an international treaty which has for underlying goal to pave the way for uniform principles which will embody a shield protecting IPR’s in the Federation of Russia, in Belorussia and Kazakhstan. The construction of this Court is a relevant answer to the impediments which gangrene the Russian judicial system. Miscellaneous commentators were calling for an aggiornamento in order to ease the treatment of decisions as cases involving IP matters were skyrocketing dramatically.

The Russian Federation belongs to the BRIC’s countries, the aforementioned hallmark making the country an attractive market for investors. The building of this Court will help to disentangle the situation which was highly detrimental to the IPR’s owners who were not prone to defend their rights in this country. This IP Court is a relief for IPR’s owners who will bring lawsuits before it, thing which was an oddity in the past. The question remains if the Court will really be put in place. It could embody a real benefit, notwithstanding, in the light of the political turmoil which broke into the country recently, it is likely that the Court will remain an “arlésienne”. The postponement of the creation of the Court is rather plausible. Moreover, this Court is not a possible arena for tackling domain names disputes which is highly regrettable. It would have been wise to create concomitantly an extra-judicial procedure in order to solve the problem related to cybersquatting. As for the future, no one really knows what it’s really hold in store.