Turned in Russia in the protection of property rights

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The Russian Court of Appeal has restored order in a complex affair that began last March, when the English company Entertainment One UK Ltd, owner of the copyright rights on the cartoon Peppa Pig, had appealed to the Russian Court of Kirov against a company Russian, denouncing the illegitimate exploitation of its intellectual property rights following the creation by the local company of an unauthorized version of the famous cartoon.

The Russian Court of Appeal has fully reformed the decision of the Kirov Court ruling that equal protection of the intellectual property rights of foreign organizations is guaranteed on the territory of the Russian Federation.

The Russian Court of Kirov had rejected the appeal without in any way addressing the legal arguments in support of it, but only in the face of the hostility shown by the country in which the applicant is based, namely the United Kingdom, listed as hostile to Russia. In this regard, in our previous article we reported the risks of an improper use in Russian territory of the intellectual property rights (trademarks, patents, models) registered by subjects belonging to one of the countries included in the Russian black list.

The Russian Court of Appeal, on the other hand, upheld the appeal filed by the English company and awarded it compensation for the numerous violations of its rights perpetrated by the Russian company.

The Court of Appeal also based its decision on the application of international law, recalling that Russia has adhered to numerous international treaties on the protection of property rights, including the Madrid Protocol on the registration and international protection of trademarks and the Berne Convention on the Protection of Literary Works. 

Therefore, the risk of non-protection of property rights belonging to natural or legal persons residing in, or connected to, foreign countries listed in the black list of countries hostile to Russia seems to have disappeared. 

Despite the ruling of the Russian Court of Appeal, we advise companies to effectively protect their property rights in the territory of the Russian Federation by adopting appropriate protection and adequate contractualization.

We at Bacciardi Partners remain at your disposal.