Protected Objects and Protective Documents
The Patent Law of Russia provides protection to inventions, utility models, industrial designs.
Inventions, industrial designs and utility models are protected by patents.
Prior to publication of application for granting a patent for an invention it might be converted into application for a certificate for a utility model. An application for grant of a certificate for a utility model might be converted into patent application prior to taking the decision on granting of the certificate. (Art. 28)
The validity terms of the protection documents are as follows:
- patents for inventions - 20 years
- patents for utility models - 5 years (might be prolonged for additional 3 years)
- patents for industrial designs - 10 years (might be prolonged for additional 5 years)
Terms are calculated from the date of filing the application (Art. 3).
Volume of protection
Volume of protection of an invention is defined by claims (Art. 3).
Product is acknowledged utilized with the use of a patented invention or utility model if in it used has been every feature of the patented invention, included into an independent claim, or an equivalent feature (Art. 10).
Pre-eminence of the former patent system and its effect
Russia recognized validity of patents of the former USSR. Applications filed prior to 1991 (under the previous patent regime) for grant of patent and inventor's certificates might have been converted (till December 31, 1993) into new patent applications for granting the patent under the new law.
In respect of patents, granted on the applications filed before introduction of the new patent regime (1991) there exists a certain peculiarity.
Any person or entity that, prior to July 1, 1991 has made all necessary preparations for utilisation of an invention, protected by a patent of the former USSR, acquires the right to freely use the invention after expiration of 15 years from the date of filing of the corresponding application.
Comment: Bearing in mind that in the former Soviet Union the patent validity term was equal to 15 years and now in Russia inventions are protected for 20 years, it could be understood, that such a person enjoys the right to freely use the protected invention for the last several years of the patent validity term.
Rights to an invention, developed by an employee, belong to the employer, unless otherwise provided by a contract (Art 8). If the employer does not file a patent application within 4 months after notification by the author about development of an invention, the author has the right to file a patent application and obtain patent for his name.