Growing confidence as IPR court finds its feet

Since February 2013, a specialised court for intellectual property rights, the IPR Court, has been operating within the system of commercial ‘arbitrazh’ courts of the Russian Federation.

Designed to enable more efficient handling of the growing number of lawsuits related to IP, the cases the court handles are typically more complex than ordinary commercial disputes and generally necessitate both legal knowledge and specialised technical know-how to ensure accurate results.

With the jurisdiction to adjudicate cases related to protection of intellectual property rights as a court of first instance and cassation instance, the IPR Court has become a significant player in the Russian IP landscape, with increasing numbers of cases considered every year since its inauguration. The number of cases and appeals considered by the court has increased from 146 cases and 304 appeals in 2013, to 703 cases and 1451 appeals by 2015.

Court data reveals more about the current environment of foreign and domestic IP filings.

In 2013, Russian complainants at the IPR had a success rate of 30% contrasted with a foreign complainant success rate of 42%. This disparity had equalised by 2015, with success rates for both domestic and foreign applicant standing at 36%.

Decline in domestic favouritism is levelling the playing field

This levelling of the playing field between domestic and foreign complainants is an indication of the continuing trend in Russian courts to treat both foreign and domestic filings equally, dispensing justice on the facts and evidence – a bellwether for how much fairer and more tightly regulated the IP landscape within Russia actually is.

While the IPR Court is still relatively young, it is demonstrating its ability to provide an effective platform for dealing with IP related disputes swiftly and efficiently, as well as Moscow’s ongoing commitment to strengthen the national framework for IP protection.