Russia and the WTO

Author: Oksana Leonidovna Kurochkina,
member of the Expert Council of the Committee on budget and taxes of the State Duma of the Federal
Assembly of the Russian Federation 

Today the theme of the world trade organization and membership of the it Russia is extremely topical and causes in the Russian society a lot of questions.

At the present time the system of customs of legal regulation of protection of rights to objects of intellectual property in the Russian Federation has undergone substantial changes, as a result of what has become maximally approximated to international legal norms in force in the countries of WTO.

However, this is not enough. In our opinion, there is little declared in the legislation of the basic principles, it is necessary to work out and launch the available mechanisms for their implementation, to create a unified law-enforcement practice.

For example, take the procedure ex officio (in translation from Latin – “on duty”).
Russian customs authorities granted the right to take measures for the protection of rights to objects of intellectual property without the application of the right holder (procedure ex officio). This provision was introduced in order to bring the legislation into conformity with international standards, namely the provisions of the TRIPS Agreement. The customs authorities now have the right (in the case of detection of signs of violation of intellectual property rights, if on the territory of Russia there is a information about the holder of the goods or his representative) to suspend the release of goods containing objects of intellectual property, not included in the special customs registers of objects of intellectual property.

The application of the legal norms are widely practised by customs administrations of the United States, Japan and countries of the European Union and allows you to significantly increase the effectiveness of the protection of rights holders in the movement across the customs border of counterfeit products. However, to increase the efficiency of the use of this procedure, in our opinion it is necessary to establish closer assistance between the customs authorities and rights-holders. And here is aided by the use of new information technologies, prior and electronic Declaration, the expected introduction of compulsory for road carriers of preliminary notification of the customs authorities on imported goods. Actually the creation of a single information database, to enable a right holder before the intersection of counterfeit goods border of the Russian Federation, and notify the customs authorities of a possible violation of their rights.

It is also worth noting and another. Russia’s accession to the WTO has exacerbated existing problems in the sphere of intellectual property, related to ensuring the national economic security and the necessity of sharp increase of competitiveness of Russian products on the international market.

Increasingly, the Russian copyright owners, including the Russian Federation, face abroad in violation of their exclusive rights. This is true of both patents and industrial designs, and trademarks.

We have all heard the shocking history of brands « Chatka », «Stolichnaya», «Moscow», «Tarhun», «Bell».

In defense industries, due to the absence in the Soviet period the control over the execution of license agreements in the field of production of unsecured necessary legal protection of weapons, according to estimates of Rospatent Russia annually loses up to $ 6 billion.

The reasons for this, in our opinion, lie in the absence of mechanisms of realization of the rights of the state of the technology, which in the Soviet times, were transferred under the license agreements to foreign States, mostly to members of the CMEA, and now uncontrollably reproduced and distributed, including in third countries; insufficient protection of results of intellectual activities of the exposure; the lack of a majority of the holders of the necessary expertise and adequate financial resources to effectively protect their rights in the external markets.

However, the situation is not hopeless. To use the already gained experience of the advanced countries of the WTO will allow us to successfully solve these problems. As world practice shows, there are effective mechanisms and means of protection of rights to results of intellectual activity.

It is worth noting that these technologies will be successful only through a comprehensive and systemic use, which is practically impossible, if one of the priorities of policy of the Russian Federation in the sphere of intellectual property is not will be the state support of Russian copyright holders abroad.

It supports export of competitive innovative products with protected rights to results of intellectual activity, and the development of the thought-out strategy of patenting created objects of intellectual property on the basis of existing international agreements on the protection of of industrial property and in consideration of national and foreign legislation, and provision of legal, technical and financial assistance to copyright holders, interested in entering the foreign markets.

Only then we can speak about the successful integration of Russia into the international system of economic relations.


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