Foreign Copyright Holders Could More Actively Protect IP In Russia 07/03/2016 by Eugene Gerden for Intellectual Property Watch 1 Comment Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Russia is continuing to strengthen its national legislation in the field of intellectual property, through the provision of means for foreign copyright holders to more actively protect their intellectual property in Russia and the elimination of bureaucratic hurdles, according to official sources. This is taking place as part of the ongoing reform of the national IP policy. On 15 February, the scope of the Russian anti-piracy law was significantly expanded, through the inclusion of all copyrighted works (music, books, inventions) and related rights in the subject of protection. This provided an opportunity to foreign rights holders to better protect their IP in Russia. According to Alexander Zharov, head of Roskomnadzor, a federal executive body responsible for control and supervision in the field of media, many foreign copyright holders have already gained benefits from the latest state legislative amendments and have already began to actively participate in the implementation of anti-piracy law in Russia, which mainly takes place through the initiation of legal actions against alleged pirates. “Lawsuits for the protection of copyright in Russia have been for the first time filed by such majors as Warner Brothers as well as Sony Music and Universal,” Zharov said. “I hope that such situation will continue, as in recent years the Russian government has significantly improved its national legislation in the field of intellectual property.” Grigory Ivliev, head of Rospatent The same position is shared by Grigory Ivliev, head of the Russian Federal Agency for Intellectual Property, Patents and Trademarks (Rospatent). He said that in addition to judicial remedy, the new Russian anti-piracy legislation provided a mechanism for non-judicial remedy of the infringements of copyright and related rights on the internet to foreign copyright holders. According to Ivliev, in accordance with the latest amendments to the Russian anti-piracy legislation, a copyright holder may demand from an owner of a web-resource that he says violates his intellectual property rights, to block further access to illegal content for internet users. Federal Catalogue In addition, the Russian government has proposed to foreign copyright holders operating in the Russian market to participate in its latest project, which involves the establishment of a specially established federal catalogue of intellectual property products. It is planned that a copyright holder will send an application to a single catalogue, and access to his IP products will be possible only after signing of a licence agreement with him. According to Rospatent, identification of a legal copyright holder will take place on the basis of his e-signature. Each web-resource will be blocked on an extrajudicial basis in the case of violation of intellectual property rights of those copyright holders, which are presented in the catalogue. Payment for the IP contained in catalogue will made either directly to the author through the catalogue, through the website, or through an intermediary organisation for collective management of rights selected by an author. According to Dmitry Petrov, head of the department of relations with state authorities of Megaphone, the second largest mobile phone operator in Russia, the creation of a single catalogue and the introduction of a scheme of wholesale purchase and sale of copyrights could be considered as an incentive for websites to legalise their operations, as signing of individual contracts with copyright holders will become a big challenge for website owners. In the meantime, the Russian government has decided to refuse remove the idea of so-called “global licence,” in which all internet users undertake to pay a monthly fee (about 300 rubles per year) to copyright holders. The proposal was called “a tax on the internet,” and sparked criticism from various internet companies, the Ministry of Communications, Ministry of Economy and Administration of the President of Russia. According to estimates of the Russian government, implementation of this proposal would require state investments in the amount of US$1.5 billion. Parallel Imports At the same time, the Russian government is still considering the possibility of the introduction of parallel imports. Currently, branded goods are supplied to Russia only by their official producers or officially authorised suppliers. The approval of parallel imports would result in their imports to Russia by other suppliers. The initiative has sparked fierce criticism from foreign copyright holders, as, according to them, its final approval and implementation may result in their multi-million dollar losses in Russia. According to producers, this will be considered as a violation of their exclusive rights to the trademark. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Related Eugene Gerden may be reached at email@example.com."Foreign Copyright Holders Could More Actively Protect IP In Russia" by Intellectual Property Watch is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.