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Russian IP court uses Microsoft’s software illegally?

It is very strange situation, when the court, protecting and securing intellectual property rights in Russia, is accused of copyright infringement. One law office, Paragon, has required Russian general prosecutor office and department of court to check Russian intellectual property court on the subject of copyright infringement.

According to law office, the Russian IP court uses Microsoft software without proper authorisation, i.e. illegally. “Such situation can affect the consideration of the cases, involving the company (Microsoft), by the IP court”, believes law office. Russian IP court denies it. The software licences have been acquired for all Russian courts in 2008 under the agreement, ending in 2011. But Microsoft has permitted the Russian IP court to use its software in 2013.

But why law office is sure that the licenses have expired? The law office represents the interests of former assistant of judge of IP court. He worked few years in IP court. He said “each day he saw notification on activation failure at the work with MS Office” in IP court. The prosecutor office confirmed the requirement, but stated, that “the actions of IP judges can be objected only to higher qualification collegium of judges”, the prosecutor’s office does not handle such problem. The office has addressed the Russian ministry of internal affairs.

The representative of the department of court has confirmed that the claim from law office has been received and forwarded to the Russian IP court for resolving the problem. The Russian IP court denied any infringement of copyright in Microsoft’s software. According to representative of the court, former assistant has been fired due to loss of confidence. He did not provide truly information on his revenues. In 2006 and 2008 the Russian Supreme Court has acquired Microsoft licences for all courts. 12 thousands licences have been acquired – more than was necessary.

The contract with Supreme Court has expired in 2011. The IP court did not explain how the Microsoft licences have been paid after 2011, but claims it has official letter from Ireland Microsoft’s headquarter, confirming permission to transfer licencing, bought for all Russian courts in 2008 and 2011, to Russian IP court, formed in 2013. “The fact the system required activation keys is technical problem and has no relation to licences”, – stated representative of the IP court.