The new Russian law of Intellectual Property recently underwent a series of modifications which will be integrated into the Russian Civil Code of Laws in the new Part IV.
These new provisions are expected to take effect January 1, 2008.
Numerous articles and scholarly opinions have already been published, for the most part from authors criticizing the changes as not going far enough in the protection of intellectual property rights. Among the new provisions, the one dealing with the protection of well known marks caught my attention. It states, in fact, that a mark can be denied registration if it is identical to or confusingly similar to a well known mark and covers similar products. One can therefore deduce that a well known mark is not protected in Russia against a similar mark for dissimilar activities. Well that is certainly a huge loophole in protection! But it isn’t all that surprising when you think about the long debates that took place in France in the Olymprix Affaire to fill in that same loophole!!