The Russian government has issued a decree that has the potential to render Russian patents worthless for many applicants from outside of Russia.
The decree, issued March 5, 2022, states that for Russian patents owned by entities from the U.S., the European Union, and other “unfriendly countries”, the patent holder will be entitled to “0%” compensation in situations where the Russian government compels the patent holder to license the patent. While the Russian government has used compulsory licensing only on rare occastions to date, there is no assurance that this will be the case in the future.
In addition, a law passed in Russia on March 8, 2022 gives the Russian government authority to suspend all IP rights during the year 2022 for specifically listed goods. As of the date of this writing, it is not clear whether the Russian government has named any goods to such a list.
Finally, Russia’s Ministry of Economic Development is reported to be considering lifting restrictions on unauthorized use of non-Russian-owned copyrights and trademarks for certain goods, such as software.
The list of 48 “unfriendly countries” includes Albania, Andorra, Anguilla, Australia, British Virgin Islands, Canada, European Union member states, Gibraltar, Great Britain, Iceland, Japan, Liechtenstein, Micronesia, Monaco, Montenegro, New Zealand, North Macedonia, Norway, San Marino, Singapore, South Korea, Switzerland, Taiwan, Ukraine, and the United States.
[NOTE: This post has been updated to correct the description of Russian decree No. 299.]