Monday, March 23, 2015

Russia to Create Register of Intellectual Property Rights Holders

A register containing information about intellectual property rights holders will be compiled in Russia.   According to Alexei Volin, Deputy Minister of Communications and Media, the register will be based on the principle of digital fingerprinting, and will be used to track and protect copyrighted files online. He added that many rights holders are afraid to provide a digital fingerprint of their intellectual property for fear that it could be pirated. Volin added that the ministry believed there should be no monopoly in this industry, and that the contribution of intellectual property to the register must be voluntary.  Russia's anti-piracy law sets out the grounds for limiting access to websites that illegally distribute movies and TV shows, and took effect on August 1, 2013.  Amended wording of the law that will allow closing access to websites with repeated violations of copyright takes effect on May 1, 2015.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Alibaba Wins Trademark Victory in Russia's Supreme Court

On Tuesday Russia's Supreme Court upheld a May 2014 decision by the IP court granting China’s Alibaba Group exclusive right to trademarks which had been challenged by BVI-registered Holmrook Ltd.  The IP court initially terminated Holmrook's trademark rights because the cybersquatter had not used them for three years. Under Russian law, a lawsuit to demand the termination of trademark registration due to non-use can only be filed by "a party of interest" who plans to use this trademark. China’s Alibaba Group announced in court that it planned to expand its e-commerce operation in Russia. Russian courts are currently considering an Alibaba Group vs. Holmrook case over the domain. Moscow courts of two instances have ruled in favor of the Chinese company, but the IP Court has returned the case for retrial for procedural reasons. The Moscow Commercial Court, which heard the case in December 2014, again ruled in favor of Alibaba Group and prohibited Holmrook from using the domain, though that decision has yet to go into effect.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Facebook blocks Russian page supporting Navalny

In a sign of new limits on Facebook’s ability to serve as a platform for political opposition movements, Russian users appear to have been blocked from accessing a page calling for a protest in support of a prominent dissident. Russian Internet regulators said Saturday that they had sent Facebook a “demand” that it block access to a page calling for a demonstration in support of Alexei Navalny, the most prominent critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin. The page was set up on Friday after prosecutors recommended that Navalny be sent to prison for 10 years in a criminal case that critics have said is purely politically motivated. Within hours, the page drew thousands of people who said they were planning to attend, and as of Saturday evening, the number stood at more than 12,300. But it was no longer visible to users inside Russia. “This content is currently unavailable,” the Web site told users who tried to access it from inside the country. A Facebook spokeswoman said the company was investigating the matter.

Russian citizen executed in Pakistan

Russian citizen Akhlas Akhlaq has been executed in Pakistan together with three other men, all convicted of attempting to assassinate former President Musharraf, Pakistan’s Interior Ministry confirmed to the Russian Embassy. Akhlas Akhlaq is one of five men sentenced to death in Pakistan for a failed plot to assassinate Musharraf. Akhlaq, born in the city of Volgograd to a Russian mother and a Pakistani father, was one of the men arrested following a suicide attack on Gen. Musharraf's convoy on 25 December, 2003. In the assassination attempt, two suicide bombers tried to ram explosives-laden vehicles into the president's limousine. Seventeen people died. Akhlaq denied all charges brought against him.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Obama signs Russia sanctions bill

President Barack Obama said on Thursday he had signed into law a new Russian sanctions bill passed by Congress but did not intend to impose further sanctions against Moscow for now. "My administration will continue to work closely with allies and partners in Europe and internationally to respond to developments in Ukraine and will continue to review and calibrate our sanctions to respond to Russia's actions," Obama said in a statement. "We remain prepared to roll back sanctions should Russia take the necessary steps."

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Homes Of Alleged Militants' Families Torched In Chechnya

Residents of Russia's Chechnya region say the authorities are carrying out Kremlin-backed leader Ramzan Kadyrov's orders to destroy the homes of relatives of alleged militants held responsible for attacks. Residents of the village of Yandi said that masked men arrived in more than a dozen vehicles late on December 8 and set several homes on fire. On December 6, after 14 policemen were killed in some of the deadliest fighting in the Chechen capital in years, Kadyrov announced that relatives of militants involved in killings would be evicted from Chechnya and their homes "razed down to the basement." Residents said not all the homes torched in Yandi belonged to families of militants believed to have been involved in the Grozny attack. Amnesty International said that punishing suspects' relatives is a "flagrant violation of international law" and that Russia must hold an impartial investigation.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Putin: Crimea is sacred to Russia

Russian President Vladimir Putin has accused what he called “enemies of yesterday” of trying to bring a new Iron Curtain down around Russia. As it moves into recession, he blames the West. On the other hand, he gave himself high marks for annexing Ukraine’s Crimea peninsula and said his country would rise to any challenge. He delivered his annual state-of-the-nation speech in St. George Hall in the Kremlin. Putin said: “The historical reunification of Crimea and Sebastopol with Russia finally happened. This has a special importance for our people, our country, because our people live in Crimea, and the territory is strategically important. It is a sacred source of our multi-faced but unified Russian nation.” He insisted that Crimea is as important to Russians as Temple Mount in Jerusalem is to Islam and Judaism.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Russia Ranks 136th on Corruption Index

Russia has fallen nine places for the past year to 136th out of 175 countries in Transparency International's 2014 Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI), a ranking of public sector corruption, made available on Wednesday. The CPI, released annually, scores and ranks the world’s countries and territories according to the perceived corruptness of their public sectors. The CPI is a composite index based on a “combination of surveys and assessments of corruption, collected by a variety of reputable institutions,” according to an information sheet provided by Transparency International. Each country in the index is assigned both a score and a ranking. The score falls on a scale ranging from zero to 100 – zero being the worst in terms of the perception of corruption, and 100 being the best. Russia has maintained the score of 27 which it shares with with Nigeria, Lebanon, Kyrgyzstan, Iran and Cameroon.

Monday, December 1, 2014

EU blacklists 13 more individuals and 5 organizations from Donetsk

The EU will introduce sanctions against 13 individuals and 5 legal entities representing self-proclaimed Donetsk and Lugansk people’s republics /DPR, LPR/, TASS reports citing a diplomatic source in Europe. A formal decision on expanding the black list will be made by the EU Council this Friday. “Names will be announced in the official gazette this Saturday November 29. The sanctions will be enforced the same day,” the source added. On November 17, foreign ministers of the EU countries instructed the European Commission and the EU foreign policy service to develop proposals by the end of the month on including leaders of the self-proclaimed republics in the black list.