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This situation is nonsense and is part of something that is happening with frightening regularity in Russia.

A Russian can obtain a patent from Rospatent even thouhg it violates both the Paris Convention and the WTO requirements both of which Russia is supposed to be operating to.

Once he has this patent he can then legally extort money from any Western company even if the product concerned is patented in the West or is indeed not patentable.

If the company concerned does not pay these "licence" fees then the Russian organisation can take him to court under the criminal code. This means that all official legal costs are borne by the state and not the individual.

Because the justice system is so corrupt in Russia any Western company involved in such a fight has the deck loaded against them and has virtually no chance of winning.

Even if the Western company obtains a valid patent, that is not guarantee that he will not fall into this situation as Rospatent is also corrupted and as such a patent can be withdrawn.

It is a very ugly situation and one which the Russian Government seems to be completely dis-interested in. The suspicion is that many of these situations involve high ranking officials in not only the government, but the Police and also the Justice system.

Motorola ia just one of a numbre of companies involved with such situations. Another example which was recently resolved was the infringement of intellectual property involving the Starbucks name.

Anyone seeking to do business in Russia should be aware that what the government says and what actually happens are poles apart.

by Ghurka (ghurka12@hotmail.com) on Wed Jul 5th, 2006 at 09:11:39 AM EST

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