New bill on protection of IP rights introduced

Russian Federation
A bill on the protection of IP rights has been presented to the State Duma. The proposed amendments aim to bring the national legislation into conformity with the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPs).
First, the bill confirms that Russian law complies with the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works and sets forth that copyright owners retain a right of remuneration in case of use of the copyrighted work. The amendments also state that individuals who provide material designed to remove technical means of protection of copyright will be punished by law.
In addition, the bill limits compulsory licensing in respect of semi-conductor technologies, in compliance with the TRIPS Agreement.
More importantly, under the bill, the Russian Patent and Trademark Office will be unable to refuse registration of a trademark on the grounds that it is identical or similar to an earlier domain name. As is noted in the explanatory note to the bill, the TRIPS Agreement does not protect domain names and it will thus be impossible to cite an earlier domain name against a trademark application.
Finally, the bill brings the Russian Civil Code into line with the TRIPS Agreement with regard to the protection of geographical indications. The legislation prevents the use of designations which do not include the name of a geographical place, but nevertheless identify the goods in question as originating from a particular territory. Under the bill, the protection of geographical indications will be equivalent to that of appellations of origin.
Natalia Storozhuk, Gorodissky & Partners, Moscow

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