Penalties for trademark infringement amended
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Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has signed the Law on Amendments to the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation, which excludes imprisonment for certain offences.
The new amendments affect the provisions dealing with the infringement of intellectual property, namely those contained in Article 180, which covers the following offences:
- the illegal use of a third party's trademark, appellation of origin or similar designations in relation to similar goods, if such action was carried out more than once or caused heavy damages; and
- the illegal use of warning markings (eg, ®) in relation to a trademark or appellation of origin not registered in Russia, if such action was carried out more than once or caused heavy damages.
Before the amendments, the only sanction applicable to the abovementioned offences was a term of imprisonment of up to six years (with additional penalties) if the offences had been committed by a group of people acting in concert or by an organised crime group. Under the new provisions, the courts can also impose:
- a fine of between €1,325 (approximately $1,785) to €25,000 ($36,000); or
- a fine corresponding to the infringer’s profits or other income earned during a period of three to five years.
Elena Zubenko, PETOŠEVIC, Kiev
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