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Amendments in law of Russian Federation

Amendments in law of Russian Federation, Asia (and Europe region) (see Amendments in law of Asia continent and Amendments in law of Europe continent)

Constitution amendments changing term of presidency

The amendments of 2008, which were proposed in November 2008 and came into force on 31 December 2008, have become the first substantial amendments to the Constitution of Russia of 1993 and extended the terms of the President of Russia and the State Duma from four to six and five years, respectively. Earlier only minor adjustments concerning the naming of the federal subjects or their merging were made, which require a much simpler procedure.

Foreign commerce

The law, presented by the president's United Russia party for the first of three readings, would tighten controls on non-governmental organizations that receive foreign funding by forcing them to submit reports on their activity twice a year.


Critics say the law, approved by 323-4 in the 450-seat chamber, is part of a crackdown on civil liberties and the opposition movement that has been protesting against Putin's return to the presidency for a new six-year term.

Copyright law of the Russian Federation

In 2006, completely rewritten intellectual property laws were included in part IV of a new Civil Code of the Russian Federation. These new laws entered into force on January 1, 2008, replacing all previous intellectual property legislation, including the separate copyright law from 1993. The copyright term has been extended to 70 years for works published by Russian authors and copyright protection has been retroactively granted to works which had their 50-year protection term expire in 1993-2003, bringing many notable works out of public domain. For works that have been created or published in other countries, the law now implements the rule of the shorter term, matching Russian copyright term with those existing in the country of origin.

Law of adaptation banning

A deputy from Russia’s ruling United Russia party, Robert Shlegel, has submitted to the State Duma an amendment to a controversial law banning adoption of Russian children by American families to try to make exceptions for disabled children.

Subsoil legislation

A draft Federal law On Amendments to Article 2.1 of the Law of the Russian Federation On Subsoil prepared by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Ecology of the Russian Federation (hereinafter - the Amendments), proposes revisions to the criteria of attribution of subsoil areas to areas of federal significance and lifts restrictions from certain categories of plots.

The current Law On Subsoil (part 3, art. 2.1)

* those containing deposits and occurrences of diamonds and platinum-group metals; and

* those located in the territory of one or several constituent entities of the Russian Federation and containing vein gold reserves of 50 tonnes and up.

In order to encourage subsoil users to carry out geological surveys of subsoil areas containing gold, diamonds and platinum-group metals, the Amendments propose:

* to increase the threshold value for vein gold reserves to 250 tonnes, and

* to determine as subsoil areas of federal significance those areas which contain reserves of platinum-group metals and vein diamond reserves, and to exclude from such areas those containing exclusively occurrences of such minerals.

Planned amendments

2. In addition, the draft Amendments propose to lift restrictions imposed by a number of provisions of the Law On Subsoil on subsoil areas of federal significance containing gold, diamonds and platinum-group metals. These provisions are as follows:

* a possible refusal to grant the right of using the subsoil area for exploration and extraction of minerals, or, in the event of geological survey under a combined license, a possible termination of the right of using the subsoil in the given subsoil area of federal significance;

* an obligation of a subsoil user which is going to carry out exploration and extraction of minerals in a subsoil area of federal significance to obtain a permit from the Government of the Russian Federation for such exploration and extraction of minerals in that area;

* an obligation of a subsoil user to finalize completely the geological survey of the subsoil area of federal significance prior to obtaining the Government permit referred to above; and

* a prohibition against assignment of the right to use a subsoil area of federal significance to a Russian legal entity with a foreign investor participant or a group of persons which includes a foreign investor, in certain instances.

Not applicable

Pursuant to the Amendments, the above provisions would not apply: (А) to such mineral deposits discovered after the effective date of the Amendments, and (B) to subsoil areas which have been granted for use for the purpose of geological survey, exploration and extraction of minerals under a combined license, and on which the subsoil user had completed the geological survey of the subsoil and proceeded to the exploration and extraction of minerals before the effective date of the Amendments.

Civil Code

Imminent Amendments to Civil Code to Affect Trademark Law and Practice.

Following the lower chamber of the Russian Parliament’s adoption in the first reading of a Draft Law amending the Civil Code of the Russian Federation, including the chapter on trademarks, a number of further revisions have been introduced for the critical second reading, which was expected to take place by the end of 2012. The major revisions related to trademarks, as proposed by the Draft Law, are discussed below.


The Draft Law clarifies the uncertainty regarding validity and enforceability of assignments and licenses at no charge (without consideration or royalty-free). Assignment of intellectual property rights (e.g., trademark rights) without consideration, as well as royalty-free exclusive license arrangements between commercial legal entities, are not allowed.

Under an exclusive license, the licensor may not use the licensed rights itself unless otherwise expressly provided for by the license agreement.

Registration Issues

The Draft Law prohibits registration of trademarks reproducing or confusingly similar to third-party trademarks unless the applicant has obtained a letter of consent from the senior rights owner. Such letters cannot be subsequently withdrawn by the senior rights owner. However, the Russian Trademark Office may reject registration if coexistence of the marks may result in consumer confusion.

In addition, the Draft Law introduces a requirement to publish all filed trademark applications so that any third party may oppose a registration before it is granted. At present, Russia has no opposition procedure.


Under the Draft Law, liability arises for unauthorized use of a trademark and not for unlawful placement of the trademark. Thus, the Draft Law eliminates existing uncertainty as to the scope of activities that may be considered as trademark infringement.

The Draft Law also sets out the rules on Internet Service Providers’ liability. A person transmitting content on the Internet or providing an opportunity to place the content online (as information intermediary, Internet Service Provider or ISP) may be liable for infringement of IP rights, taking into account the safe harbor provisions outlined below.

An intermediary transmitting information on the Internet (e.g., an ISP) is released from liability provided:

* It does not initiate the transmission or choose the recipient; and

* It does not change the content, except for changes technologically required for the transfer.

An intermediary providing an opportunity for content placement on the Internet (e.g., a hosting provider) is released from liability provided:

* It is not aware and should not be aware that the content infringes the intellectual property rights; and

* It has taken required and sufficient measures for termination of the infringement in due course upon receipt of the right holder’s written notice indicating the location of the infringing content.

This page was last modified on 20 November 2020 at 05:56.

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