Zuykov & Partners - Russia
There has been a push to recognise the importance of IP protection in the last few decades in Russia. As a result, applicant activity has increased and legislation is constantly being updated. However, there are still laws that must be amended in order to:
- eliminate legal gaps;
- reduce overlapping acts; and
- improve existing standards.
Representatives of the Russia Patent and Trademark Office (Rospatent) have highlighted two major changes that took place in 2019 or will come into force in 2020 in the field of IP protection.
The first major amendment is the inclusion of geographical indications (GIs) as a means of individualisation in the Civil Code. The changes will enter into force on 27 July 2020, with the exception of certain provisions, and aim to promote regional brands, as well as increase the volume of applications for products that are connected with the territory in which they are manufactured.
Amendments to the Civil Code granting temporary protection to industrial designs came into force in 2019. Rights holders can obtain this protection in areas of rapidly changing and poorly protected industries (eg, design and model art). In accordance with amendments to Part Four of the Civil Code, this is valid from the date that the application is published to the date that the patent grant is published. If another entity uses the industrial design during this period, the patent holder is entitled to receive remuneration once the patent has been granted.
State Duma initiatives
There are several promising initiatives under consideration before the State Duma.
Online system for obtaining protection
The Duma is aiming to optimise registration by allowing it to be carried out through Rospatent’s online portal. This will reduce the application process period, simplify the filing procedure and reduce state fees. Changes to legislation have been proposed under the national digital economy programme, as a result of which applicants and right holders have an opportunity to register programs for electronic computing machines online and transfer the rights to the subject matters of intellectual property. For this, the owner of the computer program must collect the required documents, pay the state fee and submit documents through Rospatent’s online service. Rospatent plans to start granting downloadable electronic patents and certificates via the applicant’s personal account on its website. It will still be possible to obtain physical copies of documents.
On 5 February 2020 the State Duma Committee reviewed a draft law that proposes allowing applicants to attach 3D models of the subject matter (ie, trademarks, industrial designs, inventions and utility models) to the application in an electronic form. The use of 3D models will be permitted when filing an application, which will improve and simplify the examination procedure in cases where a high level of visualisation of the subject matter is necessary.
Proposals have been submitted that would allow scientific organisations accredited by Rospatent to be involved in patent searches. This would alter rules on carrying out a preliminary information search and assessing patentability with the aim of reducing the time it takes to consider an application. Further, applicants who carry out these searches would be granted tax benefits.
A new search service that connects government institutions and private companies is due to be implemented in May 2020.