No so long time ago the Russian Federal Antitrust Service (FAS) has proposed to restrict the monopoly of IP rights in order to protect competition in digital Russian market. The so called “fifth antitrust packet” provides opportunity to deprive the developers of their rights in trademarks, software and inventions. FAS believes it is justified in the terms of sanctions imposed on Russia; as long as the sanctions are in force, the IP rights can be diminished.
FAS justifies its position in comments to the draft law with decision of Russian Constitutional Court. The court’s decision to the large extent concerns the parallel import. Russian company has acquired the special paper, produced by Sony, through the chain of intermediaries and imported this paper into Russia. The imported production contained Sony’s trade mark. Sony has sued the Russian company. The court stated that right holder “can unfair use exclusive right in trade mark and restrict the import of its production into Russian internal market and set up high prices on its products in this internal market.”
According to the court, “such right holder’s deeds can be especially dangerous in the context of sanctions, introduced against Russia, therefore the right holder’s suit can be refused, partially or entirely, if satisfaction of his requirements can create a threat to constitutionally significant values”. FAS has also underlined that transnational companies have direct impact on competition in Russian market.
“The transnational companies’ impact is significant, including the fact that they own software, including operational systems (like Google, Apple or Microsoft). Therefore maintaining and securing playing level field for all stakeholders in digital markets, protection of Russian companies require timely reaction to emerging of new features and mechanisms of activity of suppliers and customers”, – stated FAS.