Pre-trial disputes settlement
In June 2016, a mandatory pre-trial procedure for resolving most commercial disputes was introduced through the adoption of amendments to the Russian Commercial Procedure Code.
Many court disputes have, since 11 July 2017, been excluded from the scope of the mandatory pre-trial disputes settlement procedure. Certain types of IP disputes were not initially excluded from the procedure, but special regulatory arrangements were later adopted to address such cases.
In respect of claims for damages or compensation for exclusive rights infringements, the compulsory requirement to send a pre-trial demand letter has been preserved in cases when the parties to the dispute are legal entities or individual entrepreneurs. Despite the fact that sending a pre-trial demand is compulsory, filing a statement of claim is possible in the event of:
- a total or partial denial of the claims; or
- no response to the demand letter within a period of 30 days from the date of sending such letter.
Moreover, in cases where an interested party intends to terminate the trademark of another party for non-use, it must follow a special pre-trial settlement procedure. Under this procedure, the interested party must send a proposal to the trademark owner to:
- apply for a waiver of the trademark rights; or
- enter into a contract for the alienation of such rights.
If no action is taken within two months following the date of the proposal, the interested party has a right to start legal proceedings. The time limit set for launching such legal proceedings is 30 days from the end of the two-month period.
The pre-trial procedure requirement is not applicable if so-called “intangible demands for the protection of exclusive rights” are made. These cover, for example, claims for the seizure and destruction of counterfeit goods, and claims to suppress actions violating the rights of the right owner or threatening the violation of such rights.