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The history of the origin of the patent law in Russia

July 25, 2019

A patent according to the Encyclopedic Dictionary (patens in Latin means open, clear, obvious from a full name – litterae patentes – an open letter) is a protected document certifying the exclusive right, the copyright and the priority of an invention, a utility model, an industrial design or a selection invention.

The patent is granted by the state executive authority on intellectual property. In the Russian Federation, this authority is Rospatent; in the USA, this is the United States Patent and Trademark Office. The international regulation is carried out by the World Intellectual Property Organization (which performs, inter alia, the relevant functions at the UN), the United International Bureaux for the Protection of Intellectual Property and others. In the World Trade Organization, these relations are regulated, inter alia, by the “The Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights.”

In Russia, the grant of patents has quite a long history.

In the XVII century, the “privileges” were granted for fishing and trading the “various goods.” The privileges for a specific kind of the manufacture were started to be granted for the first time during the Europeanization at Peter I. Thus, Lomonosov was granted a privilege for the manufacture of parts for mosaic. It was just at Peter I that the word “patent” became a part of Spoken Russian. The subsequent rulers did not make any special changes to the field of patenting; this continued till 1815, when Alexander I published the first of its kind “Manifesto on the Privileges for Various Inventions and Discoveries in Crafts and Arts,” this is the moment from which the official history of patenting in Russia starts.

The patent law has been improving over the years. In 1833, “The Provision on Privileges” was issued, which introduced a system of the preliminary consideration of applications. At the same time, it became possible to file applications for the “improvement” of the already available inventions.

In 1870, the form of the consideration of applications was converted, the privileges now were granted by the ministries according to the principle of correlation of the ministry’s profile with the subject of the invention.

In 1896, the latest in the Russian Empire law “The Provision on the Privileges for the Improvements and Inventions” was adopted, which, together with minor amendments, was in effect till the revolution. The essence of the novelty of the invention, which should have been something new, was assessed more strictly according to it. The protection certificate was granted after that, the effect period of which was exactly 15 years from the date of granting it.

In 1919, the revolution also influenced on patenting. Lenin abolished the patent and introduced an inventor's certificate, which did not confirm the right of the inventor’s ownership to his invention, but it only allowed him using some minor dividends. Exactly this system lasted till the 90s of the XX century, i.e. till the breakup of the USSR.

The following is the author's certificate No. 1 for “The Furnace for the Continuous Manufacture of Sodium Sulfide,” published on September 15, 1924, the application was filed on March 25, 1921.

The only exception was the period from 1924 to 1931, when the patents for inventions were granted to the representatives of the friendly communist states. The patent comes back thanks to the reforms of Gorbachev. The Soviet patent existed within only one year, and the Patent Law of the Russian Federation appeared in 1992.

After a long succession of renaming during the XX century and especially at the beginning of the XXI century, the authority that registers the patent rights became known as the Federal Service for Intellectual Property (FIPS). Now, it is exactly the FIPS that carries out various activities for the defence of the intellectual property rights, as well as it registers and confirms the activities of patent attorneys.

The history of Rospatent has about a hundred years. In 1918, the Committee for Inventions was established at the Scientific and Technical Board of the Supreme Council of the National Economy, which was a prototype of the Federal Service.

In 1931, the Committee for Inventive Activity at the Council of Labor and Defence was organized. Afterwards, the Committee for Inventions and Discoveries was established in 1947. Later, in 1955, the State Committee for Inventions and Discoveries at the State Committee of the Council of Ministers of the USSR for Science and Technology was established. The Committee for Patents and Trademarks operated in the Russian Federation till 1992. The office was called the Russian Agency for Patents and Trademarks since 1996. The authority was renamed to the Federal Service for Intellectual Property, Patents and Trademarks by a Presidential Decree in 2004. The Service has obtained its name since 2011, which it bears up to this day – “The Federal Service for Intellectual Property.”

A number of modifications and amendments to the laws came into force in December 2011, which led to the creation of the Intellectual Property Court, as a special type of an arbitration court. Its competence is equivalent to the first-instance court and the Court of Cassation.

The functions and powers of the Intellectual Property Court are in the disputes on the establishment of a true patent holder; on invalidating the grant of the patent or other kind of the protection document for intellectual property; on the early termination of the protection of the relevant trademark in connection with the termination of its use by the holder and the complete termination of its use; on challenging the non-regulatory acts and actions of the relevant authorities related to the grant and distribution of the copyrights and patents; on challenging the decisions of the antimonopoly authority related to copyright violation.

The Russian State Academy of Intellectual Property (RSAIP) is the first specialized higher educational institution in Russia that trains the specialists in the field of the defence of intellectual property.

The RSAIP was founded on July 25, 1968 as a center for improving the skills of the employees in the field of the defence of intellectual property. Then this establishment went through a long development. The establishment was granted an Academy status by a Presidential Decree in April 24, 2011. It is a dynamically developing organization now, where one can get a specialized education in the field of the intellectual law, which is unique for our country.

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Author of article

Ludmila Lisovskaya

Ludmila Lisovskaya

Patent Specialist / Chemical Specialist