In 2011, intellectual property in general, and trademarks in particular, have continued to be in the spotlight for Russian lawmakers, courts, administrative authorities and rights holders alike.
Russia’s principal achievement in 2011 was to adopt a federal constitutional law to set up an Intellectual Rights Court (IRC). In fact, the idea of creating a court to hear disputes over IP rights is nothing new. Under the Russian Federation Patents Law and the Russian Federation Law On Trademarks, Service Marks and Geographical Indications, passed as early as 1992, Russia created a prototype of such a court, a Higher Patents Chamber.
For a number of reasons, however, neither the Higher Patents Chamber, nor any similar court, was ever created.
In 2003 and 2004, Rospatent, Russia’s IP authority, the Office of the Attorney General, and the Russian Academy of Justice carried out a study into the prospects of setting up a specialised IP court in Russia. The study found that the proposal was viable. It also included suggestions as to the court’s responsibilities, selection of judges, and even the technical aspects of its work.