The all new Russian Intellectual Property (IP) Court has been
officially constituted and has commenced sitting and hearing cases.
This represents a significant milestone in the advancement of
intellectual property protection in Russia.
On July 2, 2013, the Plenum of the Supreme Commercial Court of
the Russian Federation approved the commencement of the new IP
court which is based in Moscow. All the legislative changes
required for the creation of the court were already approved in
The IP Court is part of the larger system of arbitrazh
or commercial courts. The IP court will hear matters pertaining to
the review of decisions made by ROSPATENT (the Russian Federal
Service for Intellectual Property) including patent and trademark
grant and revocation cases that are first tried by the Chamber
for Patent Disputes, an administrative body with Rospatent. It will
also determine issues of IP ownership and authorship, and the
cancellation of trademark registrations for non-use amongst other
The IP Court will also act as a cassation (second appeal) court
for IP infringement cases decided in commercial courts of first
instance and first appeal courts.
The IP court is headed by Lyudmila A. Novoselova, an ex-judge of
the Supreme Commercial Court. In addition to judge Novoselova, the
IP court has appointed 12 other judges, some of whom have IP
experience or a technical background.
The institution of the new specialized IP court in Russia
evidences the Russian Government's commitment to IP protection
and the better harmonization of its laws with those of other
Over the last several years Russia has been steadily fostering a
more friendly environment that is conducive to innovation and
entrepreneurship. The IP Court follows the recent creation of the
Skolkovo Foundation by former President Medvedev. Skolkovo is a
giant technology and innovation hub created and funded by the
Russian Government and is located just outside of Moscow.
It is also expected that the IP Court will play a significant
role in helping to protect the IP rights of innovators and brand
owners during the upcoming Sochi Olympics to be held in
early 2014. Typically at such events there is a huge need to
enforce IP rights against ambush marketers, counterfeiters and
parallel importers and the new court is expected to provide an
efficient, reliable and transparent mechanism for combating abuses
The new IP court is located in the centre of Moscow (Mashkova
St., 13), near the Supreme Commercial Court.
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A recent decision of the Federal Court of Canada has highlighted the difficulties in asserting trademark and copyright rights related to the appearance of functional products with unique design elements.
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