It is expected that pre-trial resolution of intellectual property disputes in Russia will become easier.

At the session of 16 November 2016 the Russian Government approved the draft federal law “On Amendments to Articles 1252 and 1486 of the Civil Code of the Russian Federation and Articles 4 and 99 of the Arbitration Procedure Code of the Russian Federation”. The draft law is to be submitted to the State Duma for approval.

The new draft law specifies the rules of pre-trial resolution procedure for disputes arising out of civil relations and ascribed to the competence of the arbitration courts, introduced by the Federal Law of March 2, 2016 No.47-FZ “On Amendments to the Arbitration Procedure Code of the Russian Federation”, as it pertains to disputes over intellectual property rights.

The draft law, in particular, provides for the extension of the compulsory pre-trial resolution procedure to disputes over early termination of legal protection of a trademark due to its non-use, as well as for the introduction of the complain procedure for claims of rights holders for damages or compensation in the event that parties to a dispute are legal entities and/or individual entrepreneurs.

On the other hand, the draft law proposes to cancel the complain (pre-trial resolution) procedure in respect of claims for the recognition of exclusive rights, for the termination of activities infringing the right or creating a threat of its infringement, on the taking of physical carrier, on the publication of the court decision on the infringement with the indication of the actual right holder, on seizure and destruction of means, equipment or other instrumentalities used or intended for infringing the exclusive rights. As a result, it will not be required from the right holder to submit a written complain before filing the above-mentioned claims in court.

Finally, it is proposed to stipulate in Article 4 of the Arbitration Procedure Code that federal law may provide for other types of disputes, beyond the list of exceptions in the Article, in respect of which it is not compulsory to follow the complain procedure as well as any other pre-trial resolution procedure.

We look forward to passage of the proposed novels because it will facilitate pre-trial resolution of intellectual property disputes in Russia.

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