Russia legalises intellectual property piracy

Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin chairs a meeting with his deputies via teleconference in Moscow, Russia, 28 February 2022. On 7 March 2022 Mishustin signed a decree according to which intellectual property rights should not be paid to patent holders from unfriendly countries. [Russian government press service pool/EPA/EFE]

The Russian government decided on Monday (7 March) that intellectual property rights should not be paid to patent holders from “unfriendly countries”, which include, among others, all the 27 members of the EU.

Under international law, not paying patent holder rights is considered intellectual property piracy.

Russia adopted on Saturday a list of “enemy countries” including all the 27 EU member countries plus Monaco, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland and San Marino, the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, Switzerland, Japan, South Korea, New Zealand, Singapore, Taiwan, Micronesia.

From the Western Balkans, Albania, Montenegro and North Macedonia are included, but not Serbia, an EU candidate country that has refused to enforce sanctions against Russia and continues to nurture friendly ties.

According to Rossiysaka Gazeta, on Monday, Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin signed a decree according to which changes are made to the methodology for determining the compensation paid to the right holder when deciding to use the invention without the holder’s consent.

According to the document, in relation to patent holders from “unfriendly countries”, the amount of payment is 0% of the actual proceeds from the production and sale of goods, performance of work and provision of services, if the relevant inventions, utility model or industrial design are used for this.

According to previous reports in the Russian press, the Russian government has been working on various measures to respond to the Western sanctions adopted in response to Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.

It was reported that one of these measures could be the abolition of criminal and administrative liability for the use of pirated software “from countries that support sanctions”.

Under the first Russian counter-sanctions reported so far, Russia would settle any debts with entities from the “unfriendly countries” only in rubles. The Russian currency is losing value at tremendous speed due to Western sanctions. On Tuesday, the US dollar traded at 155 rubles, up from around 80 rubles as of the end of February.

Russia adopts list of 'enemy' countries to which it will pay its debts in rubles

Russia adopted a list of “enemy countries” in which the whole of the EU is included. The first announced sanctions against the “enemy countries” were that Russian counterparts would settle their debts with them only in rubles.

[Edited by Zoran Radosavljevic]

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