Limits on Patent Filings in Russia

Russian Patent Office to set limits on the number of patent filings in Russia

New regulations on patent filing procedure will be soon passed in Russia. The Russian Patent Office has prepared a set of new amendments to the Russian Civil Code to undergo senatorial hearings in the State Duma. If passed, the applicants would be required to disclose their inventions in a more thorough and detailed manner.

According to the new regulations, a private individual can be granted only 10 patents a year.  In Russia, many private applicants take advantage of a special legal policy which, under certain conditions, allows for filing patent applications without paying state fees for the patent examination procedure. This policy is only applicable in case if the applicant is a private Russian resident and agrees to abandon all intellectual property rights in favor of any legal entity interested in commercial use of the invention. Obviously, this change will not affect PCT applications filed in Russia.

That said, the Russian Patent Office has to examine thousands patent applications and spend many man-hours each year without proper compensation. According to the RUPTO‘s officials, most applications filed under the policy are rather fantastic and have almost zero practicability.

Also, it will be harder to pass off a simple invention as a more complex one. The authors of the new bill are noting that individual inventors are tending to file complex applications disclosing, for example, sophisticated satellite navigation systems, road and bridge construction improvements, and even defense systems, as utility models (i.e. one of the simplest types of intellectual property), thus trying to minimize their state fee expenses.

However, utility models are intended to cover, for example, an improved annular collar or an armchair of certain construction, rather than a missile or a space satellite. The new bill will define utility models as items having no composite parts at all, or a maximum of two parts only. Authors of more complex devices and systems will be required to patent their ideas as full-blown inventions.

The effective date of the bill is yet to be announced.

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