Russia to defend Kalashnikov brand

Russian Federation
Russia will step up its action to protect the IP rights pertaining to the Kalashnikov rifles, which are produced without a licence by dozens of manufacturers around the world.

During the Soviet era, Russia signed 25-year licensing agreements with various communist satellite countries in Eastern Europe, under which those countries were authorized to produce Kalashnikovs. However, these agreements have since expired.

There are about 100 million Kalashnikov assault rifles worldwide, of which half are counterfeit - that is, they are produced without the relevant licences, patents or intergovernmental agreements. As a result, the Kalashnikov brand has been tarnished and Russia has incurred significant financial losses.

Russia is thus negotiating draft agreements with foreign producers of the weapon to protect the Kalashnikov brand. Importantly, China and a few Eastern European countries seem to be prepared to negotiate such agreements.
Moreover, Russian weapons manufacturer Izhmash, which produces the Kalashnikov, secured a state patent for its weapon in 1997 and requested that foreign manufacturers respect its intellectual property.

Jelena Jankovic, Petoševic, Belgrade

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