March 12 — The Russian Supreme Arbitration Court has ordered the annulment of an intellectual property protection regulation, approved by the country's customs agency.
In Ruling No. VAS-10853/13, the court annulled a disputed IP regulation in a case filed by local import businesses. The claimants sought to annul Articles 3, 12, 14 and 17 of the Russian Federal Customs Service's Order No. 626, dated March 25, 2011. Those provisions set forth rules of action for customs authorities concerning IP matters, including interaction with IP rights holders and the seizure of counterfeit products.
The claimants argued that Order No. 626 set forth criteria for determining counterfeit products that were at odds with Article 1515 of the Russian Civil Code and other Russian laws, as well as provisions of the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS). The claimants also submitted that Order No. 626 had not been properly published.
The Federal Customs Service requested dismissal of the case, stating that Order No. 626 was not a regulation and as such, did not require registration with the Russian Justice Ministry and official publication.
In its decision, the Supreme Arbitration Court held that Order No. 626 was indeed a regulation that required registration and official publication. The court ordered that the Federal Customs Service annul Order No. 626 and pay legal fees.
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The text of Ruling No. VAS-10853/13, dated Feb. 26 and released on March 6, is available, in Russian, at http://www.consultant.ru/document/cons_doc_LAW_159754/.
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