New Intellectual Property Sanctions: Implications for Russian and International Companies

On 24 June, a new block of sanctions was adopted which, among other things, affects in the broadest possible way the prospects for registration and protection of intellectual property owned by Russian individuals and legal entities abroad.

In particular, the intellectual property offices of EU member states and the European Patent Office must refuse to accept:

  • new applications for registration of trademarks, patents for inventions, industrial designs, utility models (filed with national offices and through international or regional organizations)

  • any requests or submissions related to such IP assets (including the international and regional phase of patent applications).

The restrictions apply to the widest possible range of persons: Russian citizens, natural persons residing in the Russian Federation, Russian legal entities. The restrictions do not apply to nationals of Member States, Member States of the European Economic Area or Switzerland, as well as to natural persons having temporary or permanent residence permit in such states.

In addition, a requirement is introduced that IP rights disposal agreements must include rules on the inadmissibility of transferring rights to Russia if they affect separately named types of equipment.

It is worth noting that a similar initiative aimed at temporary termination of legal protection of intellectual property of legal entities and individuals from "unfriendly" foreign states is currently under consideration in the State Duma.

Given the restrictions previously introduced in the Russian Federation on transactions involving the acquisition of IP, it is worth paying special attention to the management of IP assets in Russia and abroad.