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.