Head of Patent Department
An inventor can ensure protection for their technical solution in Russia by obtaining a patent for either an invention or a utility model.
As in most jurisdictions, an invention in Russia relates to:
A utility model relates only to a device.
The Russian Patent Office, officially named the Federal Service for Intellectual Property (Rospatent), examines patent applications for both inventions and utility models with regard to their meeting patentability criteria. The patentability criteria for inventions include novelty, an inventive step (non-obviousness), and industrial applicability, whereas a utility model is not required to meet the inventive step criterion. Therefore, a utility model is perceived as a “minor” or “small invention”. For the inventor, it is easier to obtain a utility model patent and, in case the patent is challenged by a third party, there is one less ground for invalidation (the inventive step). The downside for a utility model patent is its term of validity – ten years compared to twenty years for an invention patent. The main advantage is a relatively quick grant – about 9-12 months from the filing date.
An alternative opportunity to protect your technical solution may be a Eurasian patent (applicable for inventions only) valid in eight countries including Russia.
Russian invention/utility model patent applications and Eurasian patent applications may claim priority under the Paris Convention and can be filed as national (regional) phases of international (PCT) applications.
Our patent prosecution and litigation team is widely recognized for its expertise in all patent-related matters. As a leading and by far the oldest Russian and Eurasian patent law firms, Sojuzpatent provides a full range of patenting services, including:
Under Georgian patent regulation, it is mandatory to request a substantive examination. As soon as the formal examination is completed, the applicant receives a notification. The request for a substantive examination should be filed within two months after receiving the notification.
Do I have to request a foreign filing license in Russia?
Although a foreign filing license as a separate notion does not exist in Russia, there is still a similar requirement.
In case the invention has been developed in the Russian Federation, the applicant is required by Russian law to file their first application in Russia (direct national filing or international application filed with the RUPTO as the International receiving office).
Any subsequent application can only be filed abroad after a six-month check performed by the Russian Patent Office. The check is meant to reveal state secrets the invention may eventually contain. Rospatent does not issue any special permission to file foreign applications (as compared to the US foreign filing license, when the US PTO issues a corresponding notification). The lapse of said six-month term automatically allows the applicant to file subsequent applications with foreign Patent offices. The term may be reduced by filing a request explaining that the application materials do not contain state secrets. Reduction of the term lies then within Rospatent’s discretion. It may normally be reduced to 3-4 months.
If, in breach of said rule, the applicant files the patent application with a foreign Patent office, Russian law stipulates administrative liability (monetary penalties). At the same time, if, after an unauthorized foreign filing, a state secret is revealed in the invention, both the applicant and the inventor become criminally liable.
What is the time limit for entering the Eurasian regional phase? Can this term be reinstated?
The time limit for entering the regional phase before the Eurasian Patent Office is 31 months from the priority date or the earliest priority date of several claimed priorities; if no priority is claimed, the time limit is 31 months from the filing date of the international application. The said time limits can be reinstated within 12 months on the applicant’s request in case the Patent office acknowledges the validity of the reason for the delay. The official fee for the reinstatement amounts to 25,000 RUR.
Can Russian inventors file patent applications in foreign PTOs to receive patents for their inventions in foreign countries?
Patent applications for inventions created in the Russian Federation can be filed in a foreign country (to an international patent organization) upon expiration of six months from the date of filing the respective application with the RUPTO, provided that within the indicated term the applicant is not notified of the fact that the application contains state secret data. Application for invention or utility model can be filed before the expiration of the above mentioned six month period in case the clearance for state secret data has been performed at the applicant's request.
What is the process for validating a Eurasian patent in the respective countries?
One of the convenient features of the Eurasian patent system is the absence of a separate validation procedure. The patent holder chooses the countries in which the patent should be valid simply by paying the requisite annuities. The annuities are paid to the Eurasian Patent Office, and the patent is automatically valid in all the countries for which the payments have been effected.
And even if a patent is declared invalid in some countries due to non-payment of the annuities, it can be reinstated in any of the countries within three years.