1. Introduction
    1. Political and administrative structure
    2. Legal environment
  2. Common forms of business structures for foreign investors
    1. Main types of structure
    2. Registration, liquidation and reorganisation of business structures
    3. Shareholders’ and participants’ agreements
    4. Strategic industries
  3. Anti-monopoly issues
    1. General legal and regulatory framework
    2. Scope of application of the Competition Law
    3. Anti-competitive practices and restriction of competition
    4. Liability
  4. Tax system
    1. General approach
    2. Corporate taxation
    3. Incentives
    4. Special tax regimes
    5. Taxation of individuals
    6. Double taxation treaties
  5. Customs regulations
    1. General approach
    2. Trade between EEU and non-EEU countries
    3. Mutual trade between the EEU members
  6. Currency control
    1. Foreign currency transactions
    2. Consequences of breach/Penalties
  7. Lending in Russia
    1. Lending documents and governing law
    2. Jurisdiction
    3. International finance transactions and repatriation requirements
    4. Security interests
    5. Recognition of security trusts
    6. Syndicated loans
    7. Enforcement
    8. Suretyships and guarantees
    9. Bankruptcy considerations
    10. Other lending related issues
  8. Employment and migration
    1. Formalising the employment relationship
    2. Managing employment relationships
    3. Terminating an employment agreement
    4. Specifics of employing foreign nationals
  9. Personal data protection
    1. General approach
    2. Scope of the Data Protection Law
    3. Liability
    4. Right to be forgotten
  10. Intellectual property
    1. General approach
    2. Contractual aspects of intellectual property rights
    3. Rights over the results of intellectual activity
    4. Company names, trade names, trademarks and appellations of origin
    5. Intellectual property rights infringements
    6. IP Court
  11. Advertising issues
    1. General approach
    2. Scope of application of the Advertising Law
    3. Violations of the Advertising Law
    4. Liability
  12. Anti-corruption and compliance
    1. General approach
    2. Legal framework
    3. Compliance requirements for companies
    4. Concept of corruption in Russian law
    5. Possible targets of bribery
    6. Liability and penalties for corruption
    7. Example of sector-specific anti-corruption measures
  13. Real estate and construction
    1. Rights to real estate
    2. Real estate transactions
    3. Resolution of real estate disputes
    4. Planning and construction issues
  14. Corporate bankruptcy
    1. Insolvency criteria
    2. Stages of bankruptcy proceedings
  15. Import substitution and production localisation in Russia
    1. Measures affecting goods importation and current import substitution legislation
    2. Localisation incentives
    3. Sector-specific impact of import restrictions and localisation requirements
  16. Banking sector
    1. Legislative and regulatory framework
    2. Licensing and operations
    3. Deposit insurance
    4. The anti-money laundering law
    5. Bank secrecy
    6. FATCA and CRS
  17. Environment, energy efficiency and renewables
    1. Environment
    2. Energy efficiency
    3. Renewables
  18. Infrastructure and public private partnerships
    1. General approach
    2. Key PPP legislation
    3. Russian PPP environment
    4. Financing
    5. Legal issues
    6. Prospects for infrastructure projects
  19. Oil & gas
    1. Legislative framework
    2. Ownership and licensing
    3. Restrictions on foreign investors
    4. Licences
    5. PSAs

IP Court

The IP Court is part of the Russian commercial (“arbitrazh”) court system. It is located in Moscow.

The IP Court reviews:

  • as a court of first instance – challenges of regulatory and legal acts of Rospatent;
  • as a court of first instance – claims for the invalidation of the registration of intellectual property rights for non-use and disputes over the ownership of intellectual property rights; and
  • as a court of third instance (i.e. a second appeal or a cassation) – cases concerning the infringement of intellectual property rights between legal entities and/or individual entrepreneurs.

The cassation rulings of the IP Court can be further appealed to the Supreme Court of Russia. Other rulings are appealed against at the IP Court.

Intellectual property disputes (including those associated with intellectual property prosecution issues) in Russia are reviewed by judges specialising in this area of law. Accordingly, intellectual property owners can expect a professional review of their IP-related claims in Russia and a sound legal approach in the judgments adopted as a result. 

Procedural aspects

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.

Recent court practice

In its Resolution No. 10 “On Applying Part Four of the Russian Civil Code” issued in April 2019, the Plenum of the Russian Supreme Court clarified the procedure for applying the Russian intellectual property legislation in court disputes. 

Clarifications are traditionally based on specific court cases and relate to different issues, for example, jurisdiction over disputes on the means of individualisation and evidence in intellectual property cases. 

Although the Resolution does not carry the status of a statutory regulation, its provisions are often crucial for the courts when taking a decision on a particular issue, and the courts are already relying on the Resolution when resolving disputes.

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“Parallel importation is considered as a trademark infringement in Russia, although recent trends in the court practice and relevant legislative initiatives are controversial in this respect.In particular, the courts have defined situations when parallel importation is allowed.”


Key contacts

Bankovskiy Anton
Anton Bankovskiy
Partner
Head of Intellectual Property