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In today’s knowledge economy, a large part of the value of your business is based on intangible assets and goodwill. Your intellectual property plays a key role in obtaining a competitive advantage. A cohesive IP strategy, including both commercialisation and enforcement, will ensure you get maximum value from your portfolio. With 150 specialist lawyers in 33 countries, we understand your business needs and have worked with some of the best-known brands, from banks to tech and media companies, pharmaceuticals and FMCG companies. This industry-specific approach can help you realise your commercial goals.

The right brands will win the hearts and minds of your customers. The right patents will prevent others exploiting your ideas or provide a substantial barrier to market access. Copyright, know-how and designs also play a vital role. We focus on key sectors relevant to you such as Life sciences & healthcare, automotive, machinery, manufacturing, consumer products, financial services and TMC. This means you get in-depth industry knowledge as well as legal expertise for the protection of your IP. If you are involved in a dispute, we can guide you through the litigation process.


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27/09/2022
Per­son­al data: sweep­ing changes in reg­u­la­tion
Please join our we­bin­ar on re­cent im­port­ant changes in the reg­u­la­tion of data pro­tec­tion in Rus­sia. Join our ex­perts Ir­ina Shur­mina and Vladis­lav Eltovskiy to learn about:Ex­tra­ter­rit­ori­al ap­plic­a­tion...
17/08/2022
On­line ad­vert­ising: new rules from 1 Septem­ber 2022
On 1 Septem­ber 2022, amend­ments* to Fed­er­al Law No 38 “On Ad­vert­ising” dated 13 March 2006 (the “Law”) will come in­to force. The Law will be sup­ple­men­ted by art­icle 18.1 on on­line ad­vert­ising...
04/08/2022
Li­ab­il­ity for non-com­pli­ance with the Land­ing Law
4 Au­gust 2022
22/07/2022
Per­son­al data: sweep­ing changes in reg­u­la­tion
On 1 Septem­ber 2022, amend­ments* to Fed­er­al Law No. 152 on Per­son­al Data (the “Per­son­al Data Law”) and amend­ments* to Fed­er­al Law No. 2300-1 on the Pro­tec­tion of Con­sumer Rights (the “Con­sumer Pro­tec­tion Law”) will come in­to force.The ad­op­ted amend­ments sig­ni­fic­antly change the Per­son­al Data Law: new ob­lig­a­tions of data con­trol­lers have been in­tro­duced and ex­ist­ing ones amended, the scope of the Per­son­al Data Law has been ex­pan­ded, new pro­ced­ures for ap­prov­al and no­ti­fic­a­tion of state bod­ies on the pro­cessing of per­son­al data have ap­peared.In its new ver­sion, the Con­sumer Pro­tec­tion Law pro­hib­its re­fus­al to con­clude con­tracts with con­sumers if they re­fuse to provide per­son­al data that is not re­lated to the per­form­ance of such a con­tract.Be­low we provide an ana­lys­is of the main changes to the Per­son­al Data Law and the Con­sumer Pro­tec­tion Law.Scope of the Per­son­al Data Law­Be­fore the amend­ments come in­to force, the ex­tra-ter­rit­ori­al prin­ciple of ap­ply­ing the Per­son­al Data Law (i.e. the ob­lig­a­tion for for­eign com­pan­ies to com­ply with it) form­ally relates only to per­son­al data loc­al­isa­tion re­quire­ments.Un­der the new pro­vi­sions of the Per­son­al Data Law, for­eign leg­al en­tit­ies and in­di­vidu­als are also re­quired to com­ply fully with this law when pro­cessing per­son­al data of Rus­si­an cit­izens on the basis of a con­tract or with the con­sent of such a cit­izen.We re­com­mend that for­eign com­pan­ies whose activ­it­ies are aimed at Rus­si­an cit­izens as­sess the ap­plic­ab­il­ity of the Per­son­al Data Law to their activ­it­ies and bring them in­to com­pli­ance with the Per­son­al Data Law.Pro­cessing of per­son­al data for the per­form­ance of a con­tractThe amend­ments im­pose cer­tain re­stric­tions on the pro­cessing of per­son­al data based on the per­form­ance of a con­tract. Thus, the con­tract to be con­cluded may not con­tain pro­vi­sions which:lim­it the rights and freedoms of the sub­ject;es­tab­lish cases in which the per­son­al data of a minor is pro­cessed (un­less oth­er­wise provided for by law); or­al­low mak­ing the con­clu­sion of the con­tract con­di­tion­al on the in­ac­tion of the sub­ject.The amend­ments are worded quite broadly, so we ex­pect that the cri­ter­ia for clas­si­fy­ing a con­trac­tu­al pro­vi­sion as in­ad­miss­ible will be shaped by law en­force­ment prac­tice or the reg­u­lat­or’s cla­ri­fic­a­tions.Nev­er­the­less, at this stage, we re­com­mend re­view­ing cur­rent con­tracts with in­di­vidu­als to en­sure that they com­ply with the new pro­vi­sions of the Per­son­al Data Law.New du­ties and li­ab­il­ity of “pro­cessors”Changes to the Per­son­al Data Law have tightened the re­quire­ments for so-called “pro­cessors” (i.e. per­sons or en­tit­ies who pro­cess per­son­al data on be­half of a con­trol­ler).Thus, in ad­di­tion to the in­form­a­tion pre­vi­ously re­quired, the op­er­at­or’s in­struc­tions must state the fol­low­ing du­ties of the pro­cessor:loc­al­ising Rus­si­an cit­izens’ per­son­al data in Rus­sia when they are col­lec­ted;tak­ing the meas­ures stip­u­lated by Art­icle 18.1 of the Per­son­al Data Law (e.g. ap­point­ing a data pro­tec­tion of­ficer, pub­lish­ing a policy, tak­ing meas­ures to en­sure the se­cur­ity of per­son­al data);provid­ing the con­trol­ler with proof of com­pli­ance with these meas­ures; andno­ti­fy­ing the con­trol­ler of per­son­al data leaks.We re­com­mend check­ing cur­rent agree­ments with pro­cessors and ad­just­ing them to re­flect the amend­ments.In ad­di­tion, the new ver­sion of the Per­son­al Data Law es­tab­lishes that for­eign pro­cessors are li­able to per­son­al data sub­jects dir­ectly and not only through the con­trol­ler.New rules on cross-bor­der trans­fer of per­son­al dataNew cross-bor­der trans­fer rules will come in­to force on 1 March 2023.The new ver­sion of the Per­son­al Data Law tight­ens up the rules for cross-bor­der trans­fers and in­tro­duces a man­dat­ory pri­or no­ti­fic­a­tion to the reg­u­lat­or of the in­ten­tion to trans­fer per­son­al data out­side Rus­sia.The con­trol­ler must as­sess the re­cip­i­ent of per­son­al data by ob­tain­ing, be­fore sub­mit­ting the no­ti­fic­a­tion, the fol­low­ing in­form­a­tion about:the per­sons or en­tit­ies to whom per­son­al data will be trans­ferred;the meas­ures to pro­tect the per­son­al data trans­ferred and the con­di­tions un­der which its pro­cessing may be ter­min­ated; an­dthe leg­al reg­u­la­tion of per­son­al data in the re­cip­i­ent coun­try (if the coun­try is not one that provides ad­equate pro­tec­tion of the rights of per­son­al data sub­jects).​The data con­trol­ler must then no­ti­fy Roskomnad­zor of its in­ten­tion to trans­fer per­son­al data across bor­ders and provide de­tailed in­form­a­tion on the planned trans­fer, in­clud­ing the type and con­tent of the data to be trans­ferred, the cat­egor­ies of data sub­jects, coun­tries where such data will be trans­ferred, etc.Upon re­ceipt of a no­ti­fic­a­tion, Roskomnad­zor has the right to pro­hib­it or re­strict the trans­fer of per­son­al data, inter alia, to pro­tect the mor­als, health, rights and le­git­im­ate in­terests of in­di­vidu­als; pro­tect the found­a­tions of the con­sti­tu­tion­al or­der, se­cur­ity and de­fence of the state; or pro­tect Rus­sia’s eco­nom­ic in­terests.Roskomnad­zor has ten work­ing days from the date of re­ceipt of the no­ti­fic­a­tion to make its de­cision. Pending a de­cision, the con­trol­ler may carry out cross-bor­der trans­fer of per­son­al data to coun­tries that are parties to the Coun­cil of Europe Con­ven­tion No. 108 or in­cluded in Roskomnad­zor’s spe­cial list.Per­son­al data may only be trans­ferred to oth­er coun­tries after the dead­line for a de­cision by Roskomnad­zor has ex­pired and in the ab­sence of a de­cision to ban such trans­fer. If cross-bor­der trans­fer is banned or re­stric­ted, the con­trol­ler must en­sure that the data it has pre­vi­ously trans­ferred is des­troyed in the for­eign coun­try.Con­trol­lers that car­ried out cross-bor­der trans­fers be­fore 1 March 2023 and will con­tin­ue to do so after that date are re­quired to sub­mit a no­ti­fic­a­tion to Roskomnad­zor no later than 1 March 2023.In­ter­ac­tion with Gos­SOP­KAThe new ver­sion of the Per­son­al Data Law also re­quires the con­trol­ler to en­sure in­ter­ac­tion with the State Sys­tem of De­tec­tion, Pre­ven­tion and Elim­in­a­tion of Con­sequences of Com­puter At­tacks on In­form­a­tion Re­sources (Gos­SOP­KA). The aim is to in­form Gos­SOP­KA about com­puter in­cid­ents that have led to the un­law­ful trans­fer of per­son­al data.The pro­ced­ure for in­ter­ac­tion has not been de­term­ined yet and will be es­tab­lished by the Fed­er­al Se­cur­ity Ser­vice of Rus­sia in a sep­ar­ate reg­u­la­tion.Ob­lig­a­tion to no­ti­fy per­son­al data leak­ageIn the event of a leak­age (an un­law­ful or ac­ci­dent­al trans­fer of per­son­al data res­ult­ing in the vi­ol­a­tion of the sub­ject’s rights), the con­trol­ler must no­ti­fy Roskomnad­zor:with­in 24 hours of re­veal­ing such an in­cid­ent about the in­cid­ent and its de­tails; andwith­in 72 hours of the in­cid­ent be­ing dis­covered about the res­ults of the in­tern­al in­vest­ig­a­tion in­to said in­cid­ent and provide in­form­a­tion on the per­sons (if any) whose ac­tions led to the in­cid­ent.At present, the new ver­sion of the Per­son­al Data Law does not con­tain ex­cep­tions to the ob­lig­a­tion to no­ti­fy a leak, but per­haps in the fu­ture cri­ter­ia for minor leak­ages will be de­veloped that will ex­empt any minor un­law­ful or ac­ci­dent­al trans­fer of per­son­al data from the need to be no­ti­fied.At this stage, we re­com­mend in­tro­du­cing rules for in­tern­al leak in­vest­ig­a­tions, es­pe­cially giv­en the short time­frame for ful­filling no­ti­fic­a­tion ob­lig­a­tions to Roskomnad­zor.Pro­cessing of per­son­al data un­der the Con­sumer Pro­tec­tion LawAfter 1 Septem­ber 2022, com­pan­ies will not be al­lowed to re­fuse to con­clude, per­form or ter­min­ate a con­tract if a con­sumer re­fuses to provide their per­son­al data.As an ex­cep­tion, there are cases where the ob­lig­a­tion to provide such data is pre­scribed by law or dir­ectly re­lated to the per­form­ance of the con­tract with the con­sumer.In ad­di­tion, con­sumers are giv­en the right to re­quest in­form­a­tion on the spe­cif­ic reas­ons and leg­al grounds mak­ing it im­possible to con­clude, per­form or ter­min­ate a con­tract without provid­ing per­son­al data.Con­sumers may also re­quest the re­mov­al of pro­vi­sions stip­u­lat­ing the con­di­tions of pro­cessing per­son­al data, and the com­pany must, with­in ten days, make a reasoned de­cision and no­ti­fy the con­sumer about it.The new rules will also ap­ply to con­tracts that were con­cluded be­fore 1 Septem­ber 2022. There­fore, the changes will af­fect in­ter­ac­tion with both new and cur­rent cus­tom­ers.If the in­clu­sion of con­di­tions det­ri­ment­al to the con­sumer’s rights in the con­tract has caused losses, they must be com­pensated in full. In ad­di­tion, in­clu­sion of such con­di­tions in a con­tract may res­ult in an ad­min­is­trat­ive fine of up to RUB 20,000 (EUR 350).We re­com­mend that con­tracts with con­sumers should be re­viewed with re­gard to the pro­vi­sions on the pro­cessing of per­son­al data, the scope of data to be col­lec­ted and how to in­ter­act with con­sumers dur­ing the con­tract­ing and en­quiry hand­ling phases.Oth­er changes­In ad­di­tion to the above changes, the new ver­sion of the Per­son­al Data Law also in­tro­duces a sig­ni­fic­ant num­ber of oth­er changes. We sum­mar­ise some of them be­low:From 1 March 2023, the data con­trol­ler will be re­quired to spe­cify in the per­son­al data pro­cessing policy for each pro­cessing pur­pose:the cat­egor­ies and con­tent of pro­cessed data;the cat­egor­ies of sub­jects whose per­son­al data is pro­cessed;the man­ner and terms of data pro­cessing and stor­age;a pro­ced­ure for des­troy­ing per­son­al data when the pur­pose of its pro­cessing has been achieved or when oth­er le­git­im­ate grounds for do­ing so have aris­en.The list of cases when a con­trol­ler may pro­cess per­son­al data without no­ti­fy­ing Roskomnad­zor of its in­ten­tion to pro­cess per­son­al data has been sub­stan­tially re­duced. In par­tic­u­lar, the pro­cessing of per­son­al data in ac­cord­ance with la­bour law and for the per­form­ance of a con­tract is no longer an ex­cep­tion and will now re­quire the sub­mis­sion of a no­ti­fic­a­tion. Thus, vir­tu­ally any per­son­al data con­trol­ler en­gaged in com­mer­cial activ­it­ies is re­quired to sub­mit a no­ti­fic­a­tion to Roskomnad­zor. In ad­di­tion, the list of in­form­a­tion that must be con­tained in the no­ti­fic­a­tion has changed and a re­quire­ment to provide more de­tailed in­form­a­tion on per­son­al data pro­cessing was in­tro­duced.The amend­ments es­tab­lish ad­di­tion­al cri­ter­ia for con­sent to be not only spe­cif­ic, in­formed and con­scious, but also sub­stant­ive and un­am­bigu­ous.  Ex­plan­a­tions of what is meant by sub­stant­ive and un­am­bigu­ous con­sent are not yet avail­able.The pro­vi­sion of bio­met­ric per­son­al data may not be com­puls­ory, ex­cept in the cases laid down in the Per­son­al Data Law. If the pro­cessing does not fall with­in the ex­cep­tions, the con­trol­ler does not have the right to re­fuse to provide a ser­vice to a per­son who re­fuses to provide bio­met­ric data.The dead­line for re­spond­ing to a sub­ject’s re­quests for ac­cess to in­form­a­tion on per­son­al data pro­cessing and its ter­min­a­tion has been re­duced to ten work­ing days from the sub­ject’s re­quest (the dead­line can be ex­ten­ded by an­oth­er five work­ing days).Thus, al­most all as­pects of per­son­al data pro­cessing are af­fected to a great­er or less­er ex­tent by the changes.Re­com­mend­a­tionsGiv­en the scale of the ad­op­ted changes, al­most every Rus­si­an per­son­al data con­trol­ler needs to as­sess its cur­rent per­son­al data pro­cessing pro­ced­ures and, most likely, ad­just them. In ad­di­tion, for­eign con­trol­lers may be in all like­li­hood sub­ject to Rus­si­an per­son­al data le­gis­la­tion and will be re­quired to com­ply fully with it.In light of the changes ad­op­ted, we re­com­mend that:for­eign con­trol­lers check the cur­rent pro­ced­ures for pro­cessing the data of Rus­si­an cit­izens and as­sess wheth­er Rus­si­an le­gis­la­tion is ap­plic­able;Rus­si­an con­trol­lers audit cur­rent per­son­al data pro­cessing pro­ced­ures and make ap­pro­pri­ate ad­just­ments, in­clud­ing to per­son­al data pro­cessing policies, cross-bor­der trans­fer pro­ced­ures, con­sents, con­tracts provid­ing for data pro­cessing man­dates, and oth­er doc­u­ments and pro­cesses.* In Rus­si­anCo-au­thored by Sher­met Kur­b­an­ov, Paralegal in In­tel­lec­tu­al Prop­erty.
20/07/2022
Бизнес-завтрак Seam­less & MICE
Визуалы, слоганы, сценарии, не выигравшие в тендере, вдруг реализуются конкурентом… Присвоение контента – давняя...
05/07/2022
In­tel­lec­tu­al prop­erty: re­cent de­vel­op­ments
Over the past fort­night, there have been sev­er­al im­port­ant de­vel­op­ments in the field of in­tel­lec­tu­al prop­erty worthy of spe­cial men­tion. They re­late to par­al­lel im­ports and the pro­tec­tion of rights hold­ers from the so-called “un­friendly” states.Change in the reg­u­la­tion of par­al­lel im­portsOn 28 June 2022, the Pres­id­ent signed a law* amend­ing the pro­vi­sions of Fed­er­al Law No. 46 re­lat­ing to the reg­u­la­tion of par­al­lel im­ports.Ini­tially, Fed­er­al Law No. 46 gave the Rus­si­an gov­ern­ment the au­thor­ity to de­term­ine the list of goods al­lowed for par­al­lel im­ports. The gov­ern­ment del­eg­ated the au­thor­ity to is­sue this list to the Min­istry of In­dustry and Trade.In prac­tice, des­pite the ad­op­tion of the list, ques­tions arose about the leg­al pro­tec­tion of those who plan to en­gage in par­al­lel im­ports. Com­pan­ies feared that such meas­ures would not pro­tect them against claims from rights hold­ers.To ad­dress this is­sue, the de­cision was made to in­tro­duce more changes at the le­gis­lat­ive level.The new pro­vi­sions of the law sug­gest that the use of someone else’s in­tel­lec­tu­al prop­erty will not be an in­fringe­ment if the goods con­tain­ing that in­tel­lec­tu­al prop­erty are in the list of goods of the Min­istry of In­dustry and Trade per­mit­ted for par­al­lel im­port­a­tion.However, the ad­op­ted amend­ments leave one im­port­ant ques­tion un­answered: to what ex­tent can this reg­u­la­tion ap­ply to coun­ter­feit goods?If we delve deep­er in­to the mean­ing and pur­pose of the par­al­lel im­port­a­tion pro­vi­sions, it be­comes clear that coun­ter­feit goods should still be pro­hib­ited. It is not in the in­terest of the state to en­cour­age such activ­ity, par­tic­u­larly be­cause the pro­du­cers of coun­ter­feit goods will not be re­spons­ible for their prop­er qual­ity and safety, nor will they en­sure their war­ranty ser­vice. Fur­ther­more, the trans­par­ency of such activ­ity for tax pur­poses is at the very least ques­tion­able.This view is sup­por­ted* by, among oth­ers, of­fi­cials stat­ing that the leg­al­isa­tion of par­al­lel im­ports does not im­ply that coun­ter­feit­ing is al­lowed.Thus, tak­ing in­to ac­count the gen­er­al ap­proach of the le­gis­la­tion on this is­sue and the ob­ject­ives of the par­al­lel im­port­a­tion mech­an­ism, we can con­clude that the le­git­im­ate in­terests of rights hold­ers to re­move coun­ter­feit goods from the mar­ket should be pro­tec­ted, even in light of the ad­op­ted amend­ments. The am­bi­gu­ity of some of the word­ing of the new laws can prob­ably be ex­plained by the le­gis­lat­or’s haste rather than its in­ten­tion to leg­al­ise coun­ter­feit goods.Re­versal of the de­cision in the fam­ous “Peppa Pig” case*On 21 June 2022, the Second Com­mer­cial Court of Ap­peal quashed the de­cision of the Kirov Re­gion­al Court in the “Peppa Pig” case and sat­is­fied the rights hold­er’s claim for com­pens­a­tion for in­fringe­ment of its ex­clus­ive rights to a trade­mark.As a re­fresh­er, on 3 March 2022, the Kirov Re­gion­al Com­mer­cial Court dis­missed the claim of a Brit­ish com­pany for trade­mark in­fringe­ment of the im­age of the Peppa Pig char­ac­ter, stat­ing that the very fact that the plaintiff went to court was an ab­use of rights as the com­pany is re­gistered in a state which im­posed sanc­tions against Rus­sia.This case pro­voked much spec­u­la­tion that the in­tel­lec­tu­al prop­erty of for­eign rights hold­ers is no longer pro­tec­ted in Rus­sia.In a pre­vi­ous alert on the sub­ject, we noted that more re­cent court de­cisions rais­ing the is­sue of the so-called “un­friendly” ori­gin of com­pan­ies did not sup­port the view of the Kirov Re­gion­al Court.The high­er court also dis­agreed and re­viewed the de­cision on ap­peal. In its judg­ment, the court noted that for­eign com­pan­ies, in­clud­ing those re­gistered in the UK, are guar­an­teed to re­ceive equal pro­tec­tion of their in­tel­lec­tu­al prop­erty in Rus­sia.The ap­pel­late court’s find­ings con­firmed that the de­cision in the Peppa Pig case was the ex­cep­tion rather than the rule, and that pro­tec­tion of in­tel­lec­tu­al prop­erty rights could not be denied on the sole ground that the com­pany was re­gistered in a state that had im­posed sanc­tions against Rus­sia.* In Rus­si­anCo-au­thored by Sher­met Kur­b­an­ov, Paralegal in In­tel­lec­tu­al Prop­erty.
15/06/2022
The former Mo­scow of­fice of CMS to con­tin­ue work­ing as an in­de­pend­ent law...
On 15 June 2022, the former Mo­scow of­fice of the in­ter­na­tion­al law firm CMS an­nounces the start of work as an in­de­pend­ent law firm un­der the new brand name SEAM­LESS Leg­al.Over 80 col­leagues of the Mo­scow of­fice con­tin­ue work­ing as one team, led by Man­aging Part­ner Jean-Fran­cois Mar­quaire and Seni­or Part­ner Le­onid Zubar­ev.We keep ad­vising our cli­ents across all 23 prac­tices and sec­tors: We lean on 30 years of ex­pert­ise and an im­pec­cable repu­ta­tion as part of an in­ter­na­tion­al law firm. We have al­ways abided by strict pro­fes­sion­al stand­ards and will con­tin­ue provid­ing ser­vices of the highest qual­ity. Jean-Fran­cois Mar­quaire, Man­aging Part­ner: “We are proud of hav­ing been able to cre­ate and pre­serve a united team with a friendly cor­por­ate cul­ture and re­spons­ible at­ti­tude to our busi­ness.”Le­onid Zubar­ev, Seni­or Part­ner: “Our new brand SEAM­LESS Leg­al most ac­cur­ately re­flects the ap­proach to work that has de­veloped over the years in our firm – in­teg­rity and co­her­ence, im­pec­cab­il­ity, con­tinu­ity and un­in­ter­rup­ted sup­port to our cli­ents at any time."
06/06/2022
Pay­ment pro­ced­ure changed for use of for­eign in­tel­lec­tu­al prop­erty
On 27 May 2022, the Rus­si­an Pres­id­ent signed De­cree No. 322* (the “De­cree”) that sets up a spe­cial pro­ced­ure for the pay­ment of li­cens­ing and oth­er pay­ments to for­eign right­shold­ers from “un­friendly” states for the use of their in­tel­lec­tu­al prop­erty.Thus, in or­der to duly ful­fil the ob­lig­a­tions to such right­shold­er, the li­censee or oth­er per­son ob­liged to make pay­ment in fa­vour of the right­shold­er (the “Debt­or”) pays the ap­pro­pri­ate amount in roubles to a spe­cial “O” type ac­count opened in an au­thor­ised bank in the name of the for­eign right­shold­er. If the agree­ment provides for pay­ment in for­eign cur­rency, the Debt­or de­pos­its in­to the ac­count an amount in roubles equi­val­ent to the ob­lig­a­tions in for­eign cur­rency at the of­fi­cial ex­change rate of the Cent­ral Bank of the Rus­si­an Fed­er­a­tion.The pro­ced­ure in­tro­duced by the De­cree ap­plies in par­tic­u­lar to right­shold­ers as­so­ci­ated with “un­friendly” states and their con­trolled en­tit­ies (the “Right­shold­er”).However, the doc­u­ment also sets out spe­cif­ic ex­cep­tions. For ex­ample, this pro­ced­ure does not ap­ply to:right­shold­ers from “un­friendly” states if they are con­trolled by Rus­si­an in­di­vidu­als or leg­al en­tit­ies, provided that in­form­a­tion on such con­trol has been dis­closed to the Rus­si­an tax au­thor­it­ies;right­shold­ers from “un­friendly” states who duly ful­fil their con­trac­tu­al ob­lig­a­tions to their Rus­si­an coun­ter­parties;con­tracts re­lated to the im­port­a­tion of medi­cines or med­ic­al devices in­to Rus­sia, the pro­vi­sion of com­mu­nic­a­tion ser­vices, and the cre­ation and/or use of soft­ware in Rus­sia.The pay­ment mech­an­ism es­tab­lished by the De­cree is as fol­lows.A Debt­or sub­mits an ap­plic­a­tion to an au­thor­ised Rus­si­an bank to open a spe­cial “O” type ac­count in the name of the for­eign Right­shold­er. One Right­shold­er may only have one such ac­count.The bank no­ti­fies the Right­shold­er by post, email or tele­phone that an “O” type ac­count has been opened in its name.The Right­shold­er provides the Debt­or with writ­ten con­sent (in­clud­ing elec­tron­ic con­sent) to make pay­ments to the “O” type ac­count. Un­til such con­sent has been giv­en, the Debt­or is not ob­liged to make any pay­ments and no con­trac­tu­al pen­al­ties may arise. The Debt­or makes the pay­ment spe­cified in the agree­ment with the Right­shold­er to the “O” type ac­count and is deemed to have ful­filled its con­trac­tu­al ob­lig­a­tions as of that mo­ment, re­gard­less of wheth­er the Right­shold­er has con­sen­ted.Sub­ject to the pre­scribed pro­ced­ure, Debt­ors may con­tin­ue to use the li­censed in­tel­lec­tu­al prop­erty.The De­cree was ad­op­ted to sta­bil­ise the cur­rent situ­ation where some for­eign com­pan­ies either re­fuse the per­mis­sion pre­vi­ously gran­ted to use their in­tel­lec­tu­al prop­erty or can­not ac­cept pay­ment due to re­stric­tions on in­ter­na­tion­al trans­ac­tions, while Rus­si­an com­pan­ies are will­ing to con­tin­ue us­ing such in­tel­lec­tu­al prop­erty.* In Rus­si­an
30/05/2022
US re­moves in­tel­lec­tu­al prop­erty from scope of Rus­sia-re­lated sanc­tions
Since the in­tro­duc­tion of sanc­tions against Rus­sia, US com­pan­ies op­er­at­ing in Rus­sia have faced a num­ber of chal­lenges in con­tinu­ing busi­ness. For ex­ample, in the IP area one of the press­ing prob­lems has been the pay­ment of of­fi­cial fees for re­gis­ter­ing or main­tain­ing in­tel­lec­tu­al prop­erty in Rus­sia. In view of the US sanc­tions, com­pan­ies were con­cerned that US au­thor­it­ies would con­sider these ac­tions as fin­an­cing Rus­sia, with all the neg­at­ive con­sequences that would fol­low.On 5 May 2022, the US De­part­ment of the Treas­ury cla­ri­fied this and oth­er is­sues re­lated to in­tel­lec­tu­al prop­erty. The De­part­ment ad­op­ted Gen­er­al Li­cence No. 31 (the “Gen­er­al Li­cence”), amend­ing in part the Rus­si­an Harm­ful For­eign Activ­it­ies Sanc­tions Reg­u­la­tions.The Gen­er­al Li­cence ex­cluded trans­ac­tions re­lated to copy­rights, trade­marks and pat­ents from the sanc­tions re­gime, es­tab­lish­ing a list of trans­ac­tions that are not sub­ject to re­stric­tions. Such trans­ac­tions in­clude:fil­ing and pro­sec­u­tion of any ap­plic­a­tion to ob­tain a pat­ent, trade­mark, copy­right or oth­er form of in­tel­lec­tu­al prop­erty pro­tec­tion;re­ceipt of a pat­ent, trade­mark, copy­right or oth­er form of in­tel­lec­tu­al prop­erty pro­tec­tion;re­new­al or main­ten­ance of a pat­ent, trade­mark, copy­right or oth­er form of in­tel­lec­tu­al prop­erty pro­tec­tion; and­fil­ing and pro­sec­u­tion of any op­pos­i­tion or in­fringe­ment pro­ceed­ing with re­spect to a pat­ent, trade­mark, copy­right or oth­er form of in­tel­lec­tu­al prop­erty pro­tec­tion, or the en­trance of a de­fence to any such pro­ceed­ing.In gen­er­al, the US au­thor­it­ies have answered two ba­sic ques­tions:Wheth­er Rus­si­an com­pan­ies can re­gister, main­tain and pro­tect in­tel­lec­tu­al prop­erty in the US.Wheth­er US com­pan­ies can do the same in Rus­sia. Ef­fect on Rus­si­an com­pan­ies Both in Rus­sia and the US, the ter­rit­ori­al prin­ciple of in­tel­lec­tu­al prop­erty pro­tec­tion, es­tab­lished by a num­ber of in­ter­na­tion­al agree­ments, ap­plies. This means that these rights are lim­ited to the coun­try in which the in­tel­lec­tu­al prop­erty was cre­ated.There­fore, un­der cur­rent cir­cum­stances, Gen­er­al Li­cence ap­provals are cru­cial for the pro­tec­tion of pat­ent rights and trade­marks in the US be­cause their pro­tec­tion is dir­ectly linked to the re­gis­tra­tion of in­tel­lec­tu­al prop­erty in the coun­try.The situ­ation is slightly dif­fer­ent with copy­right. Ac­cord­ing to the pro­vi­sions of the Berne Con­ven­tion, each mem­ber coun­try grants to cit­izens of oth­er mem­ber coun­tries the same copy­rights as it grants to its own cit­izens. In oth­er words, we can say that the in­ter­na­tion­al prin­ciple of pro­tec­tion was es­tab­lished for copy­right, but with­in the coun­tries that signed the con­ven­tion (cur­rently, there are 181 sig­nat­or­ies, in­clud­ing Rus­sia and the US).However, the copy­right pro­vi­sions of the Gen­er­al Li­cence do not lose their rel­ev­ance.Thus, the US Treas­ury De­part­ment’s Gen­er­al Li­cence fa­vours the pro­tec­tion of in­tel­lec­tu­al prop­erty of Rus­si­an right­shold­ers in the US. Ef­fect on US com­pan­ies As men­tioned above, US com­pan­ies have faced un­cer­tainty about what to do with in­tel­lec­tu­al prop­erty re­gistered in Rus­sia. Com­pan­ies were con­cerned that con­tinu­ing to main­tain in­ven­tions or trade­marks through the pay­ment of of­fi­cial fees would be seen as fin­an­cing Rus­sia.To ad­dress this is­sue, in March 2022, the US De­part­ment of the Treas­ury is­sued Gen­er­al Li­cence No. 13, which spe­cifies that US com­pan­ies are al­lowed to pay taxes, fees or im­port du­ties, provided such trans­ac­tions are nor­mal and ne­ces­sary for their day-to-day op­er­a­tions. The li­cence is val­id un­til 23 June 2022.The is­su­ance of Gen­er­al Li­cence No. 13 did not an­swer oth­er ques­tions re­lated to the use of in­tel­lec­tu­al prop­erty in Rus­sia, nor did it an­swer the ques­tion of wheth­er it is pos­sible to pay state fees after 23 June 2022.These ques­tions were answered in the Gen­er­al Li­cence. Giv­en the per­mis­sions set forth in the Gen­er­al Li­cence, it is safe to say that the re­gis­tra­tion, main­ten­ance and pro­tec­tion of in­tel­lec­tu­al prop­erty, in­clud­ing the pay­ment of of­fi­cial fees for such ac­tions, is not pro­hib­ited in Rus­sia for Amer­ic­an com­pan­ies.Moreover, through these ac­tions, the US gov­ern­ment is ba­sic­ally re­com­mend­ing that US com­pan­ies keep con­trol of their in­tel­lec­tu­al prop­erty in Rus­sia. Dif­fi­cult times will even­tu­ally pass while in­tel­lec­tu­al prop­erty will con­tin­ue to play an im­port­ant role in busi­ness de­vel­op­ment.Con­versely, the loss of in­tel­lec­tu­al prop­erty in Rus­sia would be ac­com­pan­ied only by neg­at­ive con­sequences such as:loss of pri­or­ity to in­tel­lec­tu­al prop­erty;loss of brand in Rus­sia;cap­ture of the brand’s tar­get audi­ence by oth­er com­pan­ies that have con­tin­ued to op­er­ate in Rus­sia;gradu­al ob­li­vi­on of the brand by Rus­si­an con­sumers;loss of mar­ket­ing in­vest­ment that has been spent on pop­ular­ising the brand, etc.Clearly, re­gis­ter­ing and main­tain­ing in­tel­lec­tu­al prop­erty is a per­miss­ible and, in fact, re­com­men­ded busi­ness activ­ity in both Rus­sia and the US.Co-au­thored by Sher­met Kur­b­an­ov, Paralegal in In­tel­lec­tu­al Prop­erty
19/05/2022
The In­tel­lec­tu­al Prop­erty Law Re­view 2022
The coronavir­us pan­dem­ic has con­tin­ued to im­pact all as­pects of life over the past year, re­quir­ing gov­ern­ments, busi­nesses and in­di­vidu­als to ad­just and ad­apt. Now that bor­der re­stric­tions and shut­downs due to the vir­us are lessen­ing and in­ter­na­tion­al trade re­mains high, the need to main­tain the world’s in­ter­con­nec­ted­ness and re­li­ance on in­ter­na­tion­al trade is en­hanced and, at the same time, the stakes in­volved with that trade have in­creased con­sid­er­ably. Against this back­drop, in­tel­lec­tu­al prop­erty prac­ti­tion­ers must nav­ig­ate a vari­ety of leg­al sys­tems and in­tel­lec­tu­al prop­erty laws in which many dif­fer­ences re­main, des­pite some move­ments to­ward har­mon­isa­tion. Read the Rus­sia chapter in the In­tel­lec­tu­al Prop­erty Law Re­view 2022, pre­pared by Ant­on Bankovskiy in early Feb­ru­ary 2022. The chapter provides an over­view of the Rus­si­an reg­u­la­tions in the in­tel­lec­tu­al prop­erty in­dustry.This art­icle was pre­pared for and first pub­lished by The Law Re­views in April 2022. 
13/05/2022
What will hap­pen to for­eign in­tel­lec­tu­al prop­erty in Rus­sia?
In re­sponse to in­ter­na­tion­al sanc­tions, Rus­sia is­sued a series of reg­u­la­tions in the area of in­tel­lec­tu­al prop­erty.Dur­ing the last two months, there have been alarm­ing sig­nals that the in­tel­lec­tu­al prop­erty of for­eign right­shold­ers could be threatened or lose pro­tec­tion in Rus­sia. However, these con­clu­sions ap­pear pre­ma­ture.In re­sponse to the cur­rent de­vel­op­ments, the at­ten­tion of vari­ous mar­ket play­ers and stake­hold­ers has been drawn to the fol­low­ing is­sues:• Can Rus­si­an com­pan­ies use for­eign pat­en­ted in­ven­tions, util­ity mod­els or in­dus­tri­al designs without ob­tain­ing con­sent or without the need to pay the right­shold­ers?• Do the same rules ap­ply to oth­er types of in­tel­lec­tu­al prop­erty?• What does the in­tro­duc­tion of par­al­lel im­port­a­tion in Rus­sia mean for for­eign com­pan­ies?• Is trade­mark squat­ting now al­lowed in Rus­sia?• Fol­low­ing the so-called “Peppa Pig” case, will the rights of for­eign com­pan­ies be pro­tec­ted be­fore the Rus­si­an courts?Based on ex­ist­ing le­gis­la­tion and case-law, the fol­low­ing an­swers to these ques­tions con­firm that in­tel­lec­tu­al prop­erty will re­main pro­tec­ted in Rus­sia.Use of for­eign pat­en­ted in­ven­tions or in­dus­tri­al design­sOn 6 March 2022, the Rus­si­an Gov­ern­ment (the “Gov­ern­ment”) is­sued De­cree No. 299*, which amended the meth­od for de­term­in­ing the amount of com­pens­a­tion to a right­shold­er for the use of its pat­ent-pro­tec­ted ob­ject without con­sent (“Com­puls­ory Li­cens­ing”). For pat­enthold­ers from for­eign states that com­mit “un­friendly acts” against Rus­sia (“Un­friendly States”), this com­pens­a­tion was re­duced to zero.It is im­port­ant to note that this pro­ced­ure only ap­plies when the Gov­ern­ment trig­gers the mech­an­ism of Com­puls­ory Li­cens­ing set out in Art­icle 1360 of the Rus­si­an Civil Code.The art­icle al­lows for the use of an in­ven­tion, util­ity mod­el or in­dus­tri­al design without the con­sent of the pat­entee, sub­ject to the fol­low­ing lim­it­a­tions:•  the pro­vi­sions may only be ap­plied in the lim­ited cases strictly laid down in the art­icle;•  this de­cision is taken by a sep­ar­ate Gov­ern­ment de­cree and ex­tends solely to the spe­cif­ic pat­ent held by a par­tic­u­lar right­shold­er for a lim­ited peri­od of time;•  such a de­cision gives this pat­ent use to a spe­cified com­pany, not to any per­son or en­tity;•  the pat­entee must be provided with the com­pens­a­tion es­tab­lished by Gov­ern­ment de­cree (for com­pan­ies from “Un­friendly States” – zero, for com­pan­ies from oth­er coun­tries – a 0.5% roy­alty, as has been the case since 2021);•  this de­cision does not lim­it the right­shold­er’s abil­ity to ex­er­cise its rights with­in the Rus­si­an Fed­er­a­tion or to li­cense these rights to someone else.An­swer­ing the ques­tion of wheth­er Rus­si­an com­pan­ies are ob­liged to pay com­pens­a­tion to pat­ent own­ers from “Un­friendly States” when us­ing their pat­ent-pro­tec­ted ob­jects, the an­swer is yes, they do. The Gov­ern­ment can make ex­cep­tions for a par­tic­u­lar Rus­si­an com­pany and a par­tic­u­lar pat­ent.As for ex­cep­tions, Art­icle 1360 of the Rus­si­an Civil Code has been used only twice for the peri­od of its ex­ist­ence since 2008, and in both cases it was re­lated to vi­tal drugs.In ad­di­tion, it should be re­called that Art­icle 1360 of the Rus­si­an Civil Code was ad­op­ted in ac­cord­ance with the pro­vi­sions of Art­icle 31 of the TRIPS Agree­ment and it is sim­il­ar to the same leg­al pro­vi­sions in oth­er coun­tries.Can Com­puls­ory Li­cens­ing be ap­plied to oth­er types of in­tel­lec­tu­al prop­erty?Art­icle 1360 of the Rus­si­an Civil Code (the rule on Com­puls­ory Li­cens­ing) ap­plies only to in­ven­tions, util­ity mod­els or in­dus­tri­al designs and can­not be ap­plied to oth­er in­tel­lec­tu­al prop­erty, in­clud­ing soft­ware or trade­marks.Fur­ther­more, there is no oth­er sim­il­ar reg­u­la­tion for oth­er in­tel­lec­tu­al prop­erty ob­jects in Rus­sia.Par­al­lel im­port­a­tion in Rus­siaOn 29 March 2022, the Gov­ern­ment is­sued De­cree No. 506*, which partly leg­al­ised par­al­lel im­port­a­tion, by es­tab­lish­ing the in­ter­na­tion­al prin­ciple of ex­haus­tion of rights to in­ven­tions, util­ity mod­els, in­dus­tri­al designs and trade­marks.This means that if genu­ine goods have been leg­ally put on the mar­ket by the right­shold­er in any part of the world, these goods can then be freely sold in the ter­rit­ory of Rus­sia without the ad­di­tion­al con­sent of the right­shold­er. This prin­ciple will not ap­ply to all goods, but only to those lis­ted in a spe­cial list* pre­pared by the Rus­si­an Min­istry of In­dustry and Trade. The De­cree is meant for products of com­pan­ies that de­clared their exit from the Rus­si­an mar­ket and do not im­port their products to Rus­sia.The Rus­si­an Min­is­ter of In­dustry and Trade noted* that the list of goods al­lowed for par­al­lel im­ports will be nar­rowed (goods will be ex­cluded from the list) if for­eign com­pan­ies de­cide to con­tin­ue op­er­at­ing in Rus­sia and sup­ply their products to the Rus­si­an mar­ket.A sim­il­ar sys­tem with cer­tain spe­cif­ic fea­tures also ap­plies in the US.Is trade­mark squat­ting now al­lowed in Rus­sia?Over the past few weeks, amid news of for­eign com­pan­ies leav­ing the coun­try, sev­er­al dozen trade­mark ap­plic­a­tions have been sub­mit­ted to the Rus­si­an Trade­mark Of­fice, “Rospat­ent”, that were identic­al or con­fus­ingly sim­il­ar to well-known for­eign brands.However, the pro­ced­ure for re­gis­ter­ing a trade­mark at Rospat­ent, as in any oth­er pat­ent of­fice around the world, gen­er­ally con­sists of the fol­low­ing steps:•  sub­mis­sion of a trade­mark ap­plic­a­tion to the pat­ent of­fice for re­gis­tra­tion;•  a trade­mark ex­am­in­a­tion (in­clud­ing check­ing wheth­er the re­gis­tra­tion in­fringes someone else’s rights on their trade­marks);•  a trade­mark re­gis­tra­tion.Any­one is en­titled to ap­ply for the re­gis­tra­tion of a trade­mark, but this does not mean that any mark will be re­gistered. In fact, Rospat­ent has con­sist­ently denied re­gis­ter­ing des­ig­na­tions even dis­tantly re­sem­bling re­gistered trade­marks.Moreover, on 1 April 2022, as the is­sue be­came highly pub­li­cised, Rospat­ent re­leased its po­s­i­tion* re­gard­ing trade­marks sim­il­ar to well-known for­eign brands, not­ing that a pre­vi­ously re­gistered identic­al or sim­il­ar trade­mark known in Rus­sia pre­vents the re­gis­tra­tion of the trade­mark in ques­tion.Will the rights of for­eign com­pan­ies be pro­tec­ted be­fore Rus­si­an courts?The dis­cus­sion about the in­ab­il­ity of for­eign com­pan­ies to de­fend their rights be­fore Rus­si­an courts began with the “Peppa Pig” case*.On 3 March 2022, the Com­mer­cial Court of the Kirov Re­gion dis­missed the law­suit of a UK com­pany for the trade­mark in­fringe­ment of the Peppa Pig char­ac­ters, call­ing the very fact of go­ing to court an ab­use of rights, be­cause the com­pany is re­gistered in a state that has im­posed sanc­tions against Rus­sia.The case has been strongly cri­ti­cised by the Rus­si­an busi­ness com­munity. The de­cision is not cur­rently in force and is be­ing re­viewed by the court of ap­peal.In oth­er words, as of today, no judg­ments in Rus­sia have been fi­nal­ised that would deny a for­eign com­pany pro­tec­tion of its rights on the grounds that it is re­gistered in an “Un­friendly State”.Moreover, later judg­ments rais­ing the is­sue of the “un­friendly” ori­gin of com­pan­ies have not fol­lowed this ap­proach. The courts reasoned that the ori­gin of an en­tity does not in it­self in­dic­ate an ab­use of rights by that en­tity. This reas­on­ing has been re­flec­ted in the fol­low­ing judg­ments:•  De­cision* of the Com­mer­cial Court of the Chelyab­insk Re­gion dated 29 March 2022 in case No. A76-42835/2021;•  De­cision* of the Com­mer­cial Court of Mo­scow dated 31 March 2022 in case No. A40-162262/2020;•  De­cision* of the Fifth Com­mer­cial Court of Ap­peal dated 1 April 2022 in case No. A51-20464/2021;•  De­cision* of the Com­mer­cial Court of the Krasnodar Ter­rit­ory dated 4 April 2022 in case No. A32-4335/2022;•  De­cision* of the Com­mer­cial Court of the Re­pub­lic of Al­tai dated 4 April 2022 in case No. A02-31/2022;•  De­cision* of the Com­mer­cial Court of the Re­pub­lic of Ud­mur­tia dated 8 April 2022 in case No. A71-16168/2021.Con­clu­sion­Due to re­cent events, Rus­si­an in­tel­lec­tu­al prop­erty law has un­der­gone changes, but these al­ter­a­tions have not un­der­mined the pro­tec­tion of in­tel­lec­tu­al prop­erty rights for for­eign com­pan­ies. Mean­while, many fea­tures of the new laws have been taken out of con­text and mis­rep­res­en­ted.In es­sence, all counter-sanc­tions taken by the Gov­ern­ment are primar­ily eco­nom­ic in nature, aimed at sup­port­ing the eco­nomy (e.g. lim­it­ing the with­draw­al of cur­rency) and de­liv­er­ing prop­er coun­ter­meas­ures (e.g. re­stric­tions on flights or trans­port). Meas­ures in the area of in­tel­lec­tu­al prop­erty are pin­pointed and aimed at pro­tect­ing spe­cif­ic in­terests as is the case with Com­puls­ory Li­cens­ing, which was only used in the past in cases of vi­tally needed drugs.Thus, in­tel­lec­tu­al prop­erty is still pro­tec­ted by law and leg­al prac­tices, both for Rus­si­an and for­eign com­pan­ies.* In Rus­si­an
14/03/2022
The Mo­scow of­fice of CMS to con­tin­ue as an in­de­pend­ent law firm
Dear FriendsWe have been through a lot dur­ing 30 years in Rus­sia. Now a dif­fi­cult de­cision has been taken by CMS to leave the Rus­si­an mar­ket. We are grate­ful to our in­ter­na­tion­al col­leagues for their...