New legislation in Crimea. What will happen with IP in Russia


Today there are a lot of unsolved problems in Crimea. Especially in law system.
Because of the Crimea annexation, the population is forced to accept Russian citizenship. Likewise, legal entities must pass to the Russian legislation.
Misunderstanding is also in IP questions.


Therefore we want to tell you about new law which can destroy system of IP.
The president of Russian Federation signed the act which may lead this country to a crisis in the sphere of intellectual property.
We are talking about the law which provides the implementation of part IV of the Civil Code of the Russian Federation.This document is intended to help residents of the Crimea, who took Russian citizenship, as well as legal entities registered there, who now will work under the laws of Russian Federation
In fact, this act in the worst case will collapse the system of intellectual property, at best - generate lawsuits.

Due to the law, the exclusive rights for inventions, utility models, industrial designs, trademarks (which are certified by documents of Ukraine) are supported on the territory of Russia only under special conditions:

1 The rights were actually acting on March 18, 2014.
2 Prior to January 1, 2015 rightholder should write a special statement. Rightholder should be a natural persons who took Russian citizenship or legal entity registration committed under the laws of the Russian Federation.


It is noteworthy that the issue of security documents in Russian Federation on such application are made without meeting patentability requirments of the invention and without the imposition of Official fees.
This "generosity" of the Russian legislator looks weird. We can assume that he never worked with the Ukrainian legislation in the sphere of intellectual property. As a result there is no understanding that the provisions of our laws have significant differences.

Firstly , in Ukraine, as the object of utility model could be devices and methods. In the Russian Federation - only devices. What about the patents of Ukraine for utility models which provide methods?
In the current version the law does not provide the right of Rospatent to refuse utility model of application, but on the other hand, this situation creates unequal conditions for the applicants from Russian Federation.

Secondly, in Ukraine, the industrial design patent is declarative in nature, while in the Russian Federation industrial design is carefully tested for novelty.
Moreover, due to the declarative patent in Ukraine, there are many patent trolls, some of which may be residents of the Crimea, who took Russian citizenship or legal entity registration committed under the laws of the Russian Federation.As a result of the adoption of such law, companies operating in Russia, should be prepared to meet the patent trolls and to fight with them.

Also this new legislation gives rise to serious conflicts between trademark holders, as for the fact that the trademark is territorial in each country. There are cases where the same trademarks are registered in Ukraine by one owner, and in Russia by other one.
If there are no substantive examination, there may be situations when the right for a trademark is owned by two individuals. In my opinion, the Russian legislator understands and even provides such opportunity.

According to the law, the patent for the invention, utility model or design may invalidated due to the Civil Code. The same situation is for trademarks.
In this opportunity, the "generosity" of the Russian lawmakers can turn conflicts for the owners of intellectual property rights.

In this situation, Ukrainian companies which are planning to work in the Russian Federation, should monitor such possible second registration, and in case of violation of rights challenge such security documents timely.

Mariya Ortynska
Trademark and Patent Attorney of Ukraine