Patent Law of the Russian Federation

SECTION I. GENERAL

Article 1. Relations Governed by This Law

This Law and legislative acts of Republics of the Russian Federation based on it shall govern proprietary relations personal non-proprietary relations and personal relations having to do with such relations arising in connection with the creation, legal protection and use of inventions, utility models and industrial designs (hereinafter referred to as "Industrial property").

Article 2. State Patent Office of the Russian Federation

The State Patent Office of the Russian Federation (hereinafter "the Patent Office") in accordance with this Law shall pursue the harmonized policy in the field of industrial property protection in the Russian Federation accept applications for inventions, utility models and industrial designs, carry out their examination and the State registration, grant patents, publish official information, issue rules and guidelines on the implementation of this Law and perform other functions in accordance with its Statute approved by President of the Russian Federation. The sources of financing of the activities of the Patent Office shall be patent fees, the Republican Budget of the Russian Federation and payments for services and information provided by the Patent Office.

Article 3. Legal Protection of Inventions, Utility Models and Industrial Designs

1.The right to an invention, utility models or industrial design shall be protected by the law and certified by a patent for invention, a certificate for utility model or a patent for Industrial design (hereinafter "patent").

2. A patent shall certify tile priority, right of inventorship of an invention, utility model or industrial design and the exclusive right to use them.

3. A patent for invention shall be valid for twenty years counted from the dale of filing the application with the Patent Office. The certificate for utility model shall be valid for five years from the date of filing the application with the Patent Office, The validity of a certificate for utility model may be reinstated by the Patent Office at the request of its owner for a maximum period of three years.

A patent for industrial design shall be valid for ten years counted from the date of filing the application with the Patent Office. The validity of a patent for industrial design may be reinstated by the Patent Office at the request of the patent owner for a maximum period of five years.

4. The scope of legal protection conferred by a patent for invention and the certificate for utility model shall be defined by claims, and that conferred by a patent for Industrial design - by a combination of its material features depicted at photographs of an article (mock-up, drawing).

5. The legal protection in accordance with this Law shall not be granted for inventions, utility models, industrial designs which have been classified by the State as secret. The procedure of handling classified inventions, utility models and industrial designs shall be governed by a special legislation of the Russian Federation.

SECTION II. CRITERIA OF PATENTABILITY

Article 4. Criteria of Patentability of Invention

1. The legal protection shall be granted for an invention provided it is new, constitutes an inventive step and is industrially applicable.

An invention is new if it is not known from the state of the art.

An invention constitutes an inventive step if, having regard to the state of the art, it is not obvious to a person skilled in the art.

The state of the art shall include any Information publicly available in the world before the priority date of the invention. In establishing novelty of an invention, the state of the art shall include all applications, provided they enjoy earlier priorities and are filed in the Russian Federation by other persons for inventions and utility models (except for abandoned applications) and the inventions and utility models patented in the Russian Federation.

An invention is industrially applicable if it may be used in industry, agriculture, public health and other fields of human activities.

A disclosure of information relating to an invention shall not be regarded as a bar to patentability of the invention if such disclosure has been made by the inventor, applicant or any person who has received this information directly or indirectly from them, where information on the gist of the invention has become publicly available, if an application for the invention is filed with the Patent Office within the period of six months from the date of such disclosures. The applicant shall carry the burden of proof in respect of this fact.

2. A subject matter of an invention may be a device, a method or a process, a substance, a strain of a microorganism, cultures of plant or animal cells as well as the use of a known device, process or method, substance or strain for a new purpose.

3. The following shall not be recognized as inventions:

- scientific theories; - method of economic organization and management; - symbols, schedules and rules; - methods for performing mental acts; - algorithms and programs for computers; - projects and lay-out diagrams for constructions buildings and territorial development; - proposals concerning solely the external appearance of manufactured articles aimed at satisfying aesthetic requirements; - topographies of integrated microcircuits; - plant varieties and animal breeds; - proposals contradictory to the public interests, principles of humanity or morals.

Article 5. Criteria of Patentability of Utility Model

1. The notion of "utility model" shall include construction of production equipment and consumer goods and of their constituent parts.

The legal protection shall be granted for a utility model if it is new and industrially applicable.

A utility model is new if a combination of its material features is not known from the state of the art.

The state of the art shall include information about means designed for the same use as the claimed utility model that has become publicly available before the priority date of the utility model and has been published anywhere in the world and information on use of such means in the Russian Federation. The state of the art shall include all applications, provided they enjoy earlier priorities, filed in the Russian Federation by other persons for inventions and utility models (except for abandoned applications) and inventions and utility models patented in the Russian Federation.

A utility model is industrially applicable if it may be used in industry, agriculture, public health and other fields of human activities.

A disclosure of information relating to a utility model shall not be regarded as a bar to patentability of the utility model if such disclosure has been made by the inventor, applicant or any person who has received this information directly or indirectly from them, where the information on the gist of the utility model has become publicly available, if an application for the utility model is filed with the Patent Office within the period of six months from the date of such disclosure. The applicant shall carry the burden of proof in respect of this fact.

2. The following shall not be protected as utility models:

- processes and methods, substances, strains of microorganisms, cultures of plant or animal cells, and the use of same for a new purpose; - subject matters set forth in Article 4.3 of this Law.

Article 6. Criteria of Patentability of Industrial Design

1. Industrial designs are characterized by artistic and structural form of an article which determines its external appearance.

The legal protection shall be granted for an industrial design if it is new, original and industrially applicable.

An industrial design shall be recognized as new if a combination of its material features defining the aesthetical and/or ergonomic characteristics of the article is not known from information publicly available in the world before the priority date of the industrial design.

In establishing novelty of an industrial design, all applications, provided they enjoy earlier priorities, shall be taken into account which have been filed by other persons in the Russian Federation for industrial designs (except for abandoned applications) and industrial designs patented in the Russian Federation.

An industrial design shall be recognized as original if its material features impart a creative character of aesthetic characteristics to the article.

An industrial design shall be recognized as industrially applicable if it can be repeatedly reproduced by way of manufacture of a respective article.

A disclosure of information relating to an industrial design shall not be regarded as a bar to the patentability of the industrial design if such disclosure has been made by the inventor, applicant or any person who has received such information directly or indirectly from them where the information on the gist of the industrial design has become publicly available, if an application for the industrial design has been filed with the Patent Office within the period of six months from the date of such disclosure. The applicant shall carry the burden of proof in respect of this fact.

2. The following shall not be recognized as patentable industrial designs:

- designs characterized exclusively by technical function of an article; - architectural objects (except for small forms), industrial, water engineering and other stationary installations; - printed matter as such; - objects of a non-stable form made of liquid, gas, bulk or similar substances; - articles contradictory to the public interests, principles of humanity or morals.

SECTION III. INVENTORS ANDPATENT OWNERS

Article 7. Inventors of Invention, Utility Model, or Industrial Design

1. A natural person who has made an invention, utility model or industrial design by his or her creativity shall be recognized as its inventor.

2. Where several natural persons have participated in the creation of industrial property, they all shall be recognized as co-inventors. The procedure of use of the rights belonging to co-inventors shall be subject to an agreement therebetween.

Natural persons shall not be recognized as co-inventors if they have not made a personal creative contribution to the industrial property and have merely offered to the inventor (inventors) technical, organizational or material assistance or help in obtaining rights to, and making use of industrial property.

3. The right of inventorship shall be an inalienable personal right and shall be protected during an indefinite period.

Article 8. Patent Owner

1. A patent shall be granted to:

- the inventor (inventors) of an invention, utility model or industrial design; - natural persons and/or legal entities (subject to their consent) as indicated by the inventor (inventors) or his or her (their) successor in title either in the application for patent or in a motion submitted to the Patent Office before the date of registration of the invention, utility model or industrial design; - the employer subject to the provisions of paragraph 2 of this Article.

2. The right to obtain a patent for invention, utility model or industrial design made by an employee in connection with discharge of his or her official duties or a specific commission given by the employer shall belong to the employer, unless a contract between them stipulates otherwise.

If such is the case, the inventor shall have the right to remuneration commensurable with a profit that has been or could have been obtained by the employer if the industrial property object was used properly, provided the employer has obtained a patent, transferred the right to obtain a patent to another person, decided on concealing the industrial property, or has not obtained a patent on a filed application for reasons within the employer's control. Remuneration shall be paid in an amount and on conditions that shall be defined in the contract between them.

If the employer, within the period of four months from the date when the author has notified him of the invention, utility model or industrial design made has failed to file an application with the Patent Office, has not assigned the right to file application to another person, and has not informed the inventor about concealment of a respective industrial property, the inventor shall have the right to file an application and obtain a patent in his own name. In such a case the employer shall have the right to use the respective industrial property at his own manufacturing facilities subject to payment of a compensation to the inventor which is subject to an agreement.

If the parties failed to reach an agreement on the amount and procedure of payment of a remuneration or compensation, the dispute shall be settled in court. The employer shall bear responsibility, in accordance with the civil legislation of the Russian Federation, for untimely paying the remuneration or compensation stipulated in the contract.

Other relations arising in connection with the making by an employee of an invention, utility model or industrial design shall be governed by legislation of the Russian Federation Law "On Employee's Inventions, Utility Models and Industrial Designs".

Article 9. Federal Fund of Inventions of Russia

The Federal Fund of Inventions of Russia shall select inventions, utility models and industrial designs, acquire the rights of their patent owner on a contractual basis, and promote their use in the interests of the State.

The sources of financing of the Federal Fund of Inventions of Russia shall be the revenues from selling licenses for industrial property patents for which are owned by the Fund, voluntary contributions of enterprises and citizens, and the Republican Budget of the Russian Federation and other incomes.

The Federal Fund of Inventions of Russia shall exercise its activities in accordance with the statute approved by the Government of the Russian Federation.

SECTION IV. EXCLUSIVE RIGHT TO USE AN INVENTION, UTILITY MODEL OR INDUSTRIAL DESIGN

Article 10. Rights and Responsibilities of the Patent Owner

1. A patent owner shall enjoy the exclusive right to use the patented invention, utility model or industrial design at his, her or its discretion, provided such use does not infringe rights of other users, including the right to prevent others from using the said objects, except for the cases where such use does not constitute an infringement of rights of the patent owner in accordance with this Law.

The relations concerning the use of an industrial property the patent for which belongs to several persons shall be defined in an agreement therebetween. Where there is no such an agreement, each of them may use the protected object at his discretion, but shall not be entitled to grant a license or assign the patent for it to another person without the consent of the co-owners.

2. A product (article) shall be recognized as manufactured with the use of a patented invention or utility model, and a process protected by a patent for an invention shall be recognized as used, provided every feature of the invention or utility model, recited in an independent claim or its equivalent is used in it. An article shall be recognized as manufactured with the use of a patented industrial design, provided it contains all its material features.

3. An infringement of the exclusive right of a patent owner shall be a non-authorized manufacture, use, importation, offer for sale, sale, other commercial introduction or storage for this purpose of a product containing a patented invention, utility model or industrial design and of a process protected by a patent for invention or commercial introduction or storage for this purpose of a product manufactured directly by the process protected by a patent for invention, the new product being regarded as obtained by the patented method unless there is a proof to the contrary.

4. If a patent owner does not use or insufficiently uses an invention or industrial design within four years or a utility model within three years from the date of grant of the patent, any person wishing, and prepared to use the protected industrial property may submit a motion to the Supreme Patent Board of the Russian Federation (hereinafter "the Supreme Patent Board") to grant a compulsory non-exclusive license, provided the patent owner refuses to conclude a license contract. If the patent owner fails to prove that the non-use or insufficient use of the industrial property is caused by a reasonable excuse, the Supreme Patent Board shall grant the above-mentioned license with the stipulation of limits of its use, amount, terms, and procedure of payments. The amounts of the license royalties shall not be lower the market price of the license.

5. If a patent owner cannot use an invention, utility model or industrial design without infringing the rights of another patent owner, he shall be entitled to demand from the latter that a license contract be concluded.

6. A patent owner may assign the obtained patent to any natural person or legal entity. Any contract of assignment of a patent shall be registered with the Patent Office. An unregistered contract shall be deemed invalid.

7. A patent for an invention, utility model or industrial design and the right to obtain it shall be inherited.

Article 11. Acts Not Recognized as Infringement of Rights of Patent Owner

The following shall not be recognized as an infringement of the exclusive right of a patent owner:

- the use on board, in the structure or operation of vehicles (sea-going and river vessels, aircraft, land vehicles or spacecraft) of other countries of devices incorporating inventions, utility models or industrial designs protected by a patent, provided such vehicles provisionally or accidentally enter the territory of the Russian Federation and are used for transportation only. Such an act shall not be recognized as an infringement of the exclusive right of the patent owner, if a vehicle belongs to natural persons or legal entities of the countries allowing the same rights to vehicle owners of the Russian Federation; - use of means incorporating an invention, utility model or Industrial design protected by a patent for the purposes of scientific research or experimentation; - use of means Incorporating inventions, utility models or industrial designs protected by patents during emergencies (natural disasters, catastrophes , major accidents) with subsequent payment of a reasonable remuneration to the patent owner; - use of means incorporating inventions, utility models or industrial designs protected by patents for private non-profit purposes; - episodical preparation of medicines in pharmacies under physicians' prescriptions; - use of means incorporating inventions, utility models or industrial designs protected by patents, provided such means are legally commercially introduced.

Article 12. Right of Prior Use

Any natural person or legal entity who, before the priority date of an invention, utility model or industrial design, has fairly used in the territory of the Russian Federation what can be regarded as identical to the invention and what has been created independently of its inventor, or who has made the necessary preparations for such use, shall retain the right to pursue such use gratis, provided the scope of use remains unchanged.

The right of prior use may be transferred to another natural person or legal entity only with the production facility at which the use of the identical property has take place or at which the necessary preparations for such use have been made.

Article 13. Grant of the Right to Use an Invention, Utility Model or Industrial Design

1. Any person, who is not the patent owner, shall have the right to use the invention, utility model or industrial design protected by the patent only subject to an authorization of the patent owner (on the basis of a license contract). Under a license contract the patent owner (licensor) shall undertake to grant the right to use the protected industrial property within the scope stipulated in the contract to another person (licensee), and the latter shall undertake to make payments stipulated in the contract to the licensor and perform other acts provided for in the contract.

Under an exclusive license a licensee shall be given the exclusive right to use the industrial property within the limits stipulated in the contract, the licensor retaining the right to use that part of the industrial property which is not transferred to the licensee, under a non-exclusive license the licensor, while granting the licensee the right to use the industrial property, shall retain all the rights conferred by the patent including that of granting licenses to third parties.

2. Any license contract shall be registered with the Patent Office and shall be deemed invalid without such registration.

3. A patent owner may lodge with the Patent Office a motion to offer the right to use the industrial property to any person (open license). The maintenance fee in this case shall be reduced by 50 percent from the year following the year of publication of the notice on such a motion by the Patent Office.

Any person wishing to use the above-mentioned industrial property shall be liable to conclude a contract on payments with the patent owner. Disputes over such contracts shall be settled by the Supreme Patent Board. The motion of the patent owner to offer the right to an open license shall not be withdrawn.

4. In the interests of national security, the Government of the Russian Federation shall have the right to authorize the use of an industrial property without asking for consent of the patent owner subject to payment a reasonable compensation to the patent owner.

Disputes over the amount of such compensation shall be settled by the Supreme Patent Board.

Article 14. Infringement of Patent

1. Any natural person or legal entity using an invention, utility model or industrial design protected by a patent in contradiction to this Law shall be considered as a patent infringer.

2. At the request of the patent owner the patent infringement must be stopped and the natural person or legal entity guilty of patent infringement, shall be liable to pay damage to the patent owner in accordance with the civil legislation of the Russian Federation.

3. This claim against the infringer may be also instituted by the holder of an exclusive license, unless otherwise provided in the license contract.

SECTION V. OBTAINING A PATENT

Article 15. Filing Application for a Patent

1. Any application for a patent shall be filed by the inventor, employer or their successor in title (hereinafter "applicant") with the Patent Office.

2. A request for grant of a patent shall be filed in Russian. The other application documents may be filed in Russian or other language. If the application documents are filed in a different language, their translations into Russian shall be enclosed with the application. A translation into Russian may be submitted by the applicant within two months from the date of filing the application containing documents in a different language with the Patent Office.

3. An application may be filed through a patent attorney registered with the Patent Office. Natural persons having their residence outside the Russian Federation or foreign legal entities or their patent attorneys shall act, in order to obtain and maintain patents, through patent attorneys registered with the Patent Office. The powers of the patent attorney shall be attested by a proxy issued by the applicant.

The requirements to patent attorneys, the procedure of qualifying and registering patent attorneys shall be defined in the Statute of Patent Attorneys approved by the Government of the Russian Federation.

Article 16. Application for Patent for Invention

1. An application for grant of a patent for invention (hereinafter ''patent application") shall relate to one invention only or to a group of inventions so interrelated as to form an integral inventive concept (unity of invention requirement).

2. A patent application shall contain: a request for grant of a patent which shall identify the inventor (joint inventors) and the person (persons) in the name of whom the patent is sought, as well as their residence or seat;

a description disclosing the invention in a manner sufficiently complete to allow its implementation; claims defining the gist of the invention and fully supported by the description; drawings and other information where necessary for understanding the gist of the invention; an abstract.

An application shall be accompanied by a document certifying payment of the prescribed fee or grounds for relieving from its payment or for its reduction.

3. The requirements to the application documents shall be set forth by the Patent Office.

Article 17. Application for Grant of Certificate for Utility Model

1. Any application for grant of a certificate for utility model (hereinafter "utility model application") shall relate to one utility model or to a group of utility models so interrelated as to form an integral creative concept (unity of utility model requirement).

2. A utility model application shall contain:

a request for grant of a certificate, which shall identify the inventor (joint inventors) of the utility model and the person (persons) in the name of whom a certificate is sought as well as their residence or seat; a description of the utility model disclosing it in a manner sufficiently complete to allow its implementation; claims of the utility model defining the gist of the utility model and fully supported by the description; drawings; an abstract.

An application for a utility model shall be accompanied by a document certifying payment of the prescribed fee or grounds for relieving from its payment or grounds for reducing its amount.

3. The requirements to the documents of the utility model application shall be set forth by the Patent Office.

Article 18. Application for Grant of Patent for Industrial Design

1. An application for grant of a patent for an industrial design (hereinafter "application for an industrial design") shall relate to one industrial design only and may include variants of this industrial design (unity of industrial design requirement).

2. An application for an industrial design shall contain:

a request for grant of a patent which shall identify the inventor (co-inventors) of the industrial design and the person (persons) in the name of whom the patent is sought as well as their residence or seat; a set of photographs depicting the article, a mock- up or a drawing which shall give the complete detailed presentation of the external appearance of the article; a drawing of the general view of the article, an ergonomic diagram, a confection card, where they are necessary for the disclosure of the subject matter of the industrial design ; a description of the industrial design, including the list of its material features.

An application for all industrial design shall be accompanied by a document certifying payment of the prescribed fee or grounds for relieving from payment of it or grounds for a reduction ill its amount.

3. The requirements to the documents of the application for an industrial design shall be set forth by the Patent Office.

Article 19. Priority of Invention, Utility Model and Industrial Design

1. The priority of an invention shall be fixed as of the date of receipt by the Patent Office of an application containing a request for grant of a patent, a description, claims, and drawings if they are referred to in the description. The priority of a utility model shall be fixed as of the date of receipt by the Patent Office of an application containing a request for grant of a patent, a description, claim, and drawings.

The priority of an industrial design shall be fixed as of the date of receipt of an application containing a request for grant of a patent, a set of photographs and a description.

The priority may be fixed as of the filing date, in a foreign country member of the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property, of the first application (convention priority) if the Patent Office receives an application for an invention or a utility model within twelve months from said date and an application for an industrial design within six months from said date. If, for reasons beyond the control of the applicant, an application claiming convention priority could not be filed within the above-mentioned period, this period may be prolonged for a maximum of two months.

An applicant wishing to enjoy the right of convention priority shall make statement to the effect at filing the application or within two months following the date of receipt of the application by the Patent Office and shall submit a copy of the first application or submit it within three months from the date of receipt of the application by the Patent Office.

3. The priority may be fixed as of the date of receipt of supplementary information, provided they are filed by the applicant as an independent application which is filed within three months from the date of receipt by the applicant of a notification from the Patent Office to the effect that the additional information cannot be accepted because of the introduction of new matter.

4. The priority may be fixed as of the date of receipt by the Patent Office of an earlier application of the same applicant, disclosing invention, utility model or industrial design concerned, provided that the application claiming such priority is received by the Patent Office within 12 months from the filing date of the earlier application for an invention or six months from the filing date of the earlier application fort) utility model or industrial design. In such case the earlier application shall be deemed abandoned.

The priority may be fixed on the basis of several earlier applications if each of them complies with the above-mentioned requirements.

The priority cannot be fixed as of the date of receipt of an application in which an earlier priority has been already claimed.

5. The priority of an invention, utility model or industrial design disclosed in a division application shall be fixed as of the date of receipt by the Patent Office of the first application disclosing them, if such a division is received by the Patent Office prior to the issuance of an action refusing the grant of a patent and the appeal procedure is over; and if a patent has been granted on such application, prior to the date of entry in the State Register.

If it has been established during examination that there are identical industrial property subject matters which have one and the same priority date, a patent may be granted in respect of the application for which the earlier date of mailing to the Patent Office is proved, and where such dates are also identical, in respect of the application having an earlier registration number at the Patent Office unless the applicants have come to another agreement.

Article 20. Amendment of Application Documents on the Initiative of the Applicant

Within two months from the filing date of an application tile applicant shall have the right to correct or amend its materials without introducing new matter to the invention, utility model or industrial design.

Provided an appropriate fee is paid, an application for invention may be corrected or amended after the expiration of the above period, but not after the issuance of an action resulting from examination on merits. Such corrections and amendments shall be taken into account in publishing information on the application for an invention, provided they have been received by the Patent Office within 12 months from the filing date.

Article 21. Examination of Application for Invention

1. The examination of application for invention as to form shall be carried out by the Patent Office after the expiration of two months from its date of receipt. At a written request of the applicant the examination as to form may be started prior to the expiration of said term. In such a case the applicant, from the date of submitting such a request, shall be deprived of the right to correct or amend the application documents at his own initiative without paying the fee provided for in paragraph 1 of Article 20 of this Law.

During the examination as to form the application shall be checked for the availability of the necessary documents, compliance with the statutory requirements, and for legal whether protectability of the claimed subject matter.

2. If supplementary materials have been submitted by the applicant in accordance with Article 20 of this Law, the Examiner shall check whether such materials add new matter.

Supplementary materials add new matter if they contain features to be recited in claims which cannot be found disclosed in the original application as filed. Supplementary materials shall not be accepted in that part which add new matter and may be filed by the applicant in an independent application.

3. The applicant shall be notified of the favorable result of the examination as to form and of the priority date in accordance with paragraph 1 of Article 19 of this Law. If it is found as a result of the examination as to form that the application relates to a non-protectable subject matter, an action rejecting the application shall be issued. This action may be appealed before the Appeals Board of the Patent Office within two months from the data of its receipt by the applicant. The appeal shall be heard at the Appeals Board of the Patent Office within two months from the date of its receipt.

4. The applicant shall be invited to correct the application drafted in contravention of the requirements to its documents or to submit the missing documents within two months from the date of receipt of such an invitation.

In the case where the applicant fails to submit the requested documents within the above-specified time limit, or a motion to extend this time limit has not been filed, the application shall be deemed abandoned.

5. If an application is filed in contravention of the unity of invention requirement, the applicant shall be invited to inform the Examiner within two months from the date of receipt of such an invitation which of the inventions is to be examined and, where necessary, to correct the application documents. Other inventions claimed in the original application may be filed as divisions.

In the case where the applicant within two months from receipt of the notice on contravention of the unity of invention requirement, fails to inform which of the inventions is to be examined and to submit the corrected documents, the subject matter which is claimed first shall be examined.

6. The Patent Office shall publish information about an application, after the expiration of eighteen months from the date of filling the application which has passed the examination as to form, unless the application is abandoned.

The contents of the published information shall be determined by the Patent Office. Any person shall be entitled to examine the application materials after the publication of information about the application.

At the request of the applicant the Patent Office may publish information about an application prior to the expiration of the above-mentioned time limit.

The inventor shall have the right to decline designation of his or her name in the published information about the application.

7. At the request of the applicant or a third party which may be submitted at any time within three years from the filing date of an application, the Patent Office shall carry out examination on merits of the application, including the check-up for the priority of the application if it has not been fixed during the examination as to form, and check-up for patentability of the invention.

8. During the examination on merits the Patent Office shall he entitled to request from the applicant supplementary information without which the examination cannot be completed including amended claims. The requested information which do not add new matter shall be submitted within two months from the dale of receipt, by the applicant, of the request or copies of references cited to anticipate the invention, provided that such copies have been requested by the applicant within one month from the date of receipt of the Examiner's request. In the case where the applicant fails to submit the requested information or a petition to extend the above-mentioned time limit within the above-mentioned time limit, the application shall be deemed abandoned.

Supplementary Information adding new matter shall be governed by the procedure set forth in paragraph 2 of this Article.

Where the Patent Office during the examination on merits finds that the claimed invention as defined by the claims submitted by the applicant complies with the criteria of patentability, an action to grant a patent with these claims shall be issued.

Where it is found that the claimed invention as defined by the claims submitted by the applicant does not comply with the criteria of patentability, an action to reject the patent application shall be issued.

The applicant may lodge an appeal with the Appeals Board of the Patent Office from the action rejecting the application within three months from the date of receipt of the action or of copies of references cited to anticipate the invention requested from the Patent Office, provided the applicant has requested them within two months from the date of receipt of the action. The appeal shall be heard at the Appeals Board of the Patent Office within four months from the date of its receipt.

9. Where the applicant disagrees with the decision by the Appeals Board, the applicant may, within six months from the date of its receipt, appeal it before the Supreme Patent Board. The decision by the Supreme Patent Board shall be final.

10. An applicant and third parties may request that a novelty search be conducted in respect of the application that has passed the examination as to form with the aim of determining the state of the art in comparison with which novelty and inventive step of the claimed subject matter will be assessed. The procedure of such search and presentation of its results shall be determined by the Patent Office.

11. An applicant shall have the right to study all information mentioned in the Examiner's request, the official action or the search report. Copies of patent references requested by the applicant shall be sent to the applicant by the Patent Office within one month from the date of receipt of the applicant's request.

12. The time limits set forth in this Article, except for the time limits set forth under paragraphs 7 and 9 which the applicant failed to comply with may be extended by the Patent Office, provided there is a reasonable excuse and the fee is paid.

A motion to extend a time limit may be filed by an applicant within twelve months from the date of expiration of the expired time period.

Article 22. Provisional Legal Protection

1. A claimed invention shall enjoy a provisional legal protection within the scope of the published claims from the date of publication of information about the application until the date of publication of information that the patent has been granted.

2. The provisional legal protection shall be considered ineffective if an action to reject the patent application has been issued and the appeal procedure is over.

3. A natural person or a legal entity working a claimed invention within the period set forth in paragraph 1 of this Article shall pay to the patent owner a pecuniary compensation after the grant of a patent. The amount of such compensation shall be subject to an agreement between the parties.

4. The provisions of paragraph 3 of this Article shall apply to inventions, utility models and industrial designs from the date on which the applicant has notified the persons working them to the effect that the application for patent is filed if such a date is earlier than the date of publication of information about the application for invention and if such date is earlier than publication of information about the grant of a patent for a utility model or industrial design.

Article 23. Examination of Application for Utility Model

1. During examination of an application for utility model it shall not be checked for compliance with the criteria of patentability set forth in paragraph 1 of Article 5 of this Law. A certificate shall be granted on responsibility of the applicant without the guarantee of validity.

2. During formal examination as to form of an application for utility model the provisions of paragraphs 1-5 of Article 21 of this Law shall apply mutatis mutandi.

If the Examiner finds that the application has been filed for a patentable subject matter and is in good order, an action to grant a certificate shall be issued.

3. The applicant and third parties shall be entitled to request that a novelty search be conducted in respect of an application for utility model for the purpose of determining the state of the art in comparison with which patentability of the utility model will be assessed. The procedure of such search and presentation of its results shall be determined by the Patent Office.

4. Any person shall have the right to inspect the application materials after the publication of a notice on the grant of a certificate for utility model.

Article 24. Examination of Application for Industrial Design

1. The Patent Office shall carry out the examination as to form and the examination on merits of an application for industrial design.

2. During the examination as to form of an application for industrial design the provisions set of paragraphs 1-5 of Article 21 of this Law shall be applied mutatis mutandi.

If the result of the examination as to form is favorable, the examination on merits shall be carried out.

During the examination on merits the provisions of paragraphs 8, 9, 11, 12 of Article 21 of this Law shall apply mutatis mutandi.

3. Any person shall have the right to inspect the application materials after the publication of a notice on the grant of a patent for industrial design.

Article 25. Publication of Notice on Grant of Patent

The Patent Office after the issuance of an action to grant a patent, shall publish in its Official Gazette a notice on the grant of a patent, containing: the name of the inventor (joint inventors) if the latter had not declined designation as such and the patent owner, the title and claims of the invention or utility model or the list of material features of the industrial design and its picture provided that the applicant has paid the fee for the grant of a patent. The contents of the published information shall be determined by the Patent Office.

Article 26. Registration of Invention, Utility Model, Industrial Design, and Grant of Patent

1. The Patent Office, simultaneously with the publication of information on the grant of a patent, shall enter in the State Register of Inventions of the Russian Federation, the State Register of Utility Models of the Russian Federation, or the State Register of Industrial Designs of the Russian Federation, respectively, the invention, utility model or industrial design and shall grant Letters patent to the person in the name of whom it has been sought.

Where there are several persons in the name of whom a patent has been sought, a single Letters Patent shall be granted to them.

2. The form of the Letters Patent and the contents of data appearing in it shall be determined by the Patent Office.

3. Corrections of obvious and clerical errors shall be entered in the granted patent by the Patent Office at the request of the patent owner.

Article 27. Withdrawal of Application

An applicant shall have the right to withdraw the application prior to publication of information on the application for invention, but not later than its registration date or the date of registration of industrial design or utility model.

Article 28. Conversion of Applications

An applicant shall be entitled, prior to publication of information on the application for invention, to convert it, by filing an appropriate request, into an application for utility model. The conversion of an application for utility model into an application for invention shall be allowed prior to the issuance of an action to grant a patent.

The priority of the first application shall be retained upon the abovementioned conversions.

SECTION VI. INVALIDATION OF PATENT

Article 29. Attacking Patent

1. Throughout the entire period of validity a patent may be attacked and invalidated fully or in part in the following cases:

a) the protected industrial property does not comply with the statutory criteria of patentability under this Law; b) features that cannot be found disclosed in the original application file are recited in the claims of invention, utility model or in combination of material features of industrial design; c) the Letters Patent has a misjoinder of inventor (joint inventors) or patent owner(s).

2. An opposition against the grant of a patent on the grounds provided for under subparagraphs (a) and (b) of paragraph 1 of this Article shall be heard the Appeals Board within six months from the date of its receipt; the patent owner shall be made familiar with the opposition brief. The Appeals Board shall hear the opposition within the scope of the grounds presented in the opposition.

3. If any party disagrees with the decision by the Appeals Board on the opposition it may, within six months from the time the decision has been announced, appeal with the Supreme Patent Board whose decision shall be final.

Article 30. Early Termination of Validity of Patent

1. The validity of a patent shall expire earlier: if a patent is held invalid under Article 29 of this Law; at the request filed by the patent owner with the Patent Office; in case of failure to pay the maintenance fee within the statutory time limit.

2. The Patent Office shall publish information on early termination of validity of patents in the Official Gazette.

SECTION VII. PROTECTION OF RIGHTS OF PATENT OWNERS AND INVENTORS

Article 31. Hearing Disputes in Courts

1. Disputes relating to the implementation of this Law shall be heard in the manner provided for by legislation of the Russian Federation.

Courts, including arbitration courts and arbitration tribunals, in accordance with their competence, shall hear the following disputes: - over inventorship of an invention, utility model or industrial design; - over patent ownership; - over infringement of the exclusive right to use a protected industrial property and other proprietary rights of the patent owner; - over conclusion and implementation of license contracts for use of a protected industrial property; - over right of prior use; - over payment of remuneration to an inventor by the employer in accordance with a contract provided for in paragraph 2 of Article 8 of this Law; - over payment of compensations provided for in this law subject to the provisions of paragraph 4 of Article 13 of this Law; - other disputes dealing with the protection of rights conferred by a patent, except for the disputes within the competence of the Supreme Patent Board.

Article 32. Liability for Infringement of Rights of Inventorship

Usurpation of inventorship, co-inventorship by coercion, illegal disclosure of information about an industrial property shall entail criminal liability in accordance with legislation of the Russian Federation.

SECTION VIII. FINAL PROVISIONS

Article 33. Patent Fees

Patent fees shall be charged for legally significant acts in connection with patenting. Patent fees shall be paid to the Patent Office. The list of acts for which patent fees are due, their amounts, and terms of payment as well as

the grounds for exemption from them, reduction of their amounts or refunding shall be determined by the Government of the Russian Federation.

Article 34. Promotion of Creation and Use of Industrial Property by the State

The State shall promote the creation and use of industrial property, provide grace conditions of taxation and crediting of inventors and businesses making use of industrial property and offer them other benefits in accordance with legislation of the Russian Federation.

Article 35. Patenting Industrial Property Abroad

Patenting inventions, utility models, and industrial designs created in the Russian Federation shall be allowed only after the lapse of three months from the date of filing an application with the Patent Office.

The Patent Office may, if it deemed necessary, to permit an invention, utility model or industrial design to be patented abroad before expiration of this term.

Article 36. Rights of Foreign Natural Persons and Legal Entities

Foreign natural persons and legal entities shall enjoy the rights provided for in this Law on a par with natural persons or legal entities of the Russian Federation by virtue of international treaties to which the Russian Federation is a party on a reciprocity basis.

Article 37. International Treaties

Rules of an international treaty shall apply unless an international treaty to which the Russian Federation is a party stipulates otherwise.

President of the Russian Federation

B.N.Elcin

Moskow, the House of Soviets of Russia September 23, 1992. No 3517-1

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