Of all types of patent searches, the prior art search is the one that is crucial before filing a priority patent application. This is necessary to evaluate the chances that the patent for the claimed invention/utility model will be granted. To this end, our patent attorney can perform a preliminary search aimed at discovering relevant prior art and assessing whether or not the solution at issue will meet patentability criteria.
Can I use arguments for invalidity as a defense in an infringing action brought in Russia by the patent’s owner?
The defendant in a patent infringement case brought to a Russian court can challenge the patent validity. However, since the Russian patent system is bifurcated, the defendant cannot assert invalidity of the patent in question to the infringement court, but has to initiate a separate proceeding at the Chamber for Patent Disputes in the Russian Patent and Trademark Office. Accordingly, infringement and invalidity of the patent at issue will be examined in separate proceedings.
The court judgment on the infringement suit is appealable to a local court of appeals and the appeal decision comes into force immediately. The decision of the court of appeals can be challenged before the Court for intellectual property rights as a cassation instance.
The decision of the Chamber for Patent Disputes on the patent’s validity is appealable to the Court for intellectual property rights, and its decision can be challenged before the Presidium of the same Court as a cassation instance.
Therefore, a judgment by an infringement court may come earlier than that by the Chamber for Patent Disputes, and an injunction could be enforced by a patentee even if the patent is invalidated later on.
Do I have any protection after publication of a Russian patent application and before the grant of the patent?
As in most patent jurisdictions, an applicant receives in Russia provisional legal protection of his or her rights during the period between the publication of the patent application and the publication of the granted patent (Article 1392 of the Russian Civil Code).
Any third party having used the invention during the said period shall pay to the patent holder a reasonable compensation. If the parties do not agree about the amount of the compensation, the same should be defined by the court. It is important to understand that the right holder can bring a legal action against such a third party only after the registration and publication of the patent.
For most disputes related to patent invalidation/trademark cancellation, the venue is determined directly by Russian law. It is either the Federal executive authority in the sphere of intellectual property (Rospatent, the Chamber for Patent Disputes) or the Court for Intellectual Property Rights. For the remaining invalidation/cancellation actions (a few rare types of cases) the venue is defined according to general rules depending on the defendant's address.
At the same time, in infringement lawsuits, forum shopping is possible when the claimant can name multiple persons as co-defendants (e.g. manufacturer/importer, wholesalers, and retailers). In such cases, the claimant has the option to choose with which territorial court to file their action.
Can the PCT national stage start before the expiration of the time limit?
In both Russian and Eurasian Patent Offices, the processing of a PCT national (regional) stage application may start before the expiration of the 31-month time limit in case the applicant makes an express request to the Patent Office.
How is it possible to speed up prosecution of patent applications in Russia?
One of the ways to accelerate patent prosecution in Russia is the Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH). Currently, the Russian Patent and Trademark Office (RUPTO) has pilot PPH programs with the European Patent Office and the Patent Offices of Japan, US, Korea, Finland, Spain, Denmark, China and Portugal. According to the signed agreements, RUPTO’s patent examiners will take into consideration PCT and national/regional work products. Filing the PPH request, the client may count on receiving fewer office actions and consequently decreasing the term of prosecution.
Another way is the RUPTO’s paid service allowing the applicant to receive the search report within 10 working days. The search results allow decreasing to two months the term of issuing the first office action or the decision of grant. The official tariff charged for this service amounts to 94,400 RUR.
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