Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Medvedev Acknowledges Need for Copyright Enforcement

While calling for officials, retails and consumers to uphold copyright laws, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev nevertheless declined to back the idea of an oversight body for the government's anti-counterfeit efforts and predicted that the customs union with Kazakhstan and Belarus would create additional problems with fake goods.  Medvedev acknowledged that Russia, known for counterfeit electronics, pirated software and illicit vodka, needs to find a balance between promoting innovation through the free exchange of ideas and protecting brands and artistic works, adding that "[t]he government and civil society must uphold the protection of intellectual property rights on the one hand while stimulating competition and eliminating unreasonable barriers in the market on the other." More than 900 billion rubles ($29 billion) of fake goods are distributed on the Russian market each year, said Alexei Popovichev, executive director of branded-goods manufacturers association RusBrand. Research commissioned by RusBrand and conducted by Moscow's Higher School of Economics has found that about 24 percent of the retail revenue of consumer goods comes from counterfeits. During the conference, Medvedev said the anti-counterfeit battle will be addressed by changes to the Civil Code, but he did not give specifics.

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