Intellectual Property in Russia
Intellectual Property in RussiaUpdated on Friday 08th March 2019
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The laws on intellectual property protection in Russia are comprised in the Civil Code of the Russian Federation that was enabled in 2008, after a series of modifications throughout the years. It includes the Copyright Law that was separated until that moment. Russia has laws governing:
- - copyright protection,
- - trademark and service mark protection,
- - company’s intellectual assets protection,
- - computer programs and database protection,
- - protection of topologies of integrated circuits.
The Intellectual Property Law was last amended at the end of 2015. Our lawyers in Russia can offer more information on the legislation related to the protection of intellectual property in this country.
Our law firm can also help foreign investors who want to open companies in Russia, being specialized in business registration matters. We can also assist with the registration of various intellectual property rights in Russia.
Copyright Law in Russia
Copyright protection in Russia is given for a period of 70 years to nationals that have created literature, works of art or scientific work. In Russia, both public and unreleased work is granted copyright protection and it includes oral creations, interviews, and speeches among the usual creative art.
Laws, folklore, administrative texts, and official documents are not subject to copyright in Russia. The Copyright Law in Russia has been renewed according to the Berne Convention.
Russian copyright law offers moral and economic rights to its owner. The moral rights or paternity rights provide the owner with the following:
- - recognition as author,
- - the right to choose whether the work will be or won’t be disclosed to the public,
- - the right to withdraw work from public view,
- - the right to integrity that protects the author’s dignity.
The economic or patrimonial rights provide the author with the right of allowing third parties to reproduce his work and the right to distribute, make public or broadcast the creation. There is no general right that allows an author to receive money for his or her creation unless the work is audiovisual. There is only a resale right of 5% of the resale price that includes works like paintings and sculptures.
Patent Law in Russia
The legal frame for patent protection in Russia is governed by the Patent Law of the Russian Federation that protects the use of utility models and industrial property. Russia is a signatory member of the Patent Cooperation Treaty which enables foreign companies to adhere to patent protection in Russia.
There are several types of patents which can benefit from protection under the Intellectual Property Law in Russia. These are:
- - patents related to inventions which must pass a test of innovation, novelty, and use in a specific industry;
- - patents designating a new method which has industrial applicability can also be registered in Russia;
- - another type of patent is a product which can take the form of a device or substance with innovation;
- - utility models can also be patented if they are new and have industrial applicability.
When it comes to the registration of patents, these must be acknowledged by Rospatent, Russia’s national Intellectual Property Office.
The protection of patents registered in Russia depends on the type of patent. In the case of inventions, the protection is granted for 20 years and can be renewed for another 5 years. In the case of utility models, the protection is granted for 10 years and cannot be renewed.
Industrial designs can also be recognized as intellectual property in Russia. These must only be new and original in order to be registered with Rospatent. The protection of industrial designs is granted for 5 years and can be renewed until the total protection timeframe reaches 25 years.
Our Russian lawyers can offer more information on the protection of patents in this country. They can also advise on the procedure of registration of patents as intellectual property in Russia.
Trademark Law in Russia
Russia is a signatory member of the Madrid Agreement on International Registration of Trade Marks and it offers legal protection on trademarks and service marks for companies using them as long as they have been registered with Rospatent which is the registration office for intellectual property in Russia is.
When it comes to the registration of a trademark in Russia, the following aspects need to be considered:
- - trademark registration in Russia is based on a first come first served basis;
- - in order to register a trademark in Russia, any sign, number, color or combination of these can be used;
- - when registering a trademark, the applicant must submit several documents with Rospatent;
- - after having it registered, the owner must start using it within maximum 3 years, otherwise, it will be revoked.
Other aspects which need to be considered when registering a trademark in Russia is that the procedure can take up to one year because the procedure implies a period of time (usually 3 months) in which the trademark can be contested. This is why it is important to start the registration procedure as soon as you have decided, in order to complete the registration in time. Trademark registration in Russia is subject to a very thorough examination procedure from Rospatent.
The protection of a trademark in Russia is guaranteed for a period of 10 years and can be renewed for the same period of time. Also, the number of times trademark registration can be renewed is unlimited.
Trademarks and copyrights represent the most important intellectual properties registered by Russian citizens and companies.
If you plan on registering a trademark and need assistance, our attorneys in Russia can help you. They will explain the documents which need to be prepared and submitted with Rospatent in order to avoid any misunderstandings.
A foreign citizen who wants to protect his trademark in Russia may contact a law firm in Russia that will handle the entire procedure.
Protection of a company's intellectual assets in Russia
Protection of computer programs and databases and topologies of integrated circuits are also protected by law in Russia, even if they are part of a special intellectual protection category: the protection of a company's intellectual assets.
Companies are protected in Russia mainly by incorporation and through the Trademark Law. But a company also benefits from software, database, industrial design and utility model protection.
A Russian company may choose to protect its know-how technology, its pattern of integrated circuits, if considered necessary, its domain name and its website content as well.
Company names as intellectual property in Russia
One of the most uses of intellectual property in Russia is related to the registration of a trade name when starting a business. Upon the reservation of the company name with the Trade Register, uniqueness is a mandatory requirement for the purpose of not breaking the intellectual property legislation.
When registering the company name, the business owner is usually required to select at least 3 names, among which the one desired for the company. The Trade Register will verify if all the names are unique and if they are, the owner will be allowed to use the chosen one.
Once the company is registered with the Companies Register, the business owner can also register the company’s name with Rospatent. During the last few years, the number of companies having their trade names registered as trademarks has increased a lot, especially when it comes to IT companies which have become popular on the Russian market.
An important aspect which needs to be considered when registering intellectual property in Russia is that foreigners with patents, copyrights or trademarks need to apply for registration in Russia even if they have registered their rights in their home countries. This is also applicable to Russian citizens or companies interested in having their intellectual property rights acknowledged outside the country.
International treaties related to intellectual property signed by Russia
Given the importance of the protection of intellectual property rights during the last few years, Russia has entered into several international agreements with various countries and has become a signatory member of the following:
- - Hague Agreement related to the International Registration of Industrial Designs;
- - The Patent Treaty Act;
- - The WIPO Copyright Law;
- - The Berne Convention related to the protection of literary work;
- - The Patent Cooperation Treaty;
- - The Nice Agreement related to the Classification of Goods and Trademarks;
- - The Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property.
The Russian Court for Intellectual Property Rights
Not long ago, Russia has also enabled the Court for Intellectual Property Rights, simply known as the IP Court which tries cases related to intellectual property infringements. This court acts as a first instance and appellate court of justice in IP-related cases.
Both Russian companies and citizens are allowed to file petitions with the IP court. Our law firm in Russia can offer more information on the IP Court.
Protection of high-tech IP rights in Russia
Programming and software can also fall under the incidence of the Intellectual Property Law in Russia, as the number of IT companies has increased considerably in the past few years. IT companies can protect the rights related to the software, programs and know-how they develop. They can register trademarks related to the names of the work they create.
The development and work created by their employees can also be protected under the intellectual property legislation, however, the employment contract must contain specific clauses related to the rights of employees over intellectual work.
If you want to open a company, you can contact our lawyers in Russia for detailed information about intellectual property laws. You can rely on our Russian lawyers for various legal services related to the protection of intellectual property rights or starting and registering a business in this country.