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INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY NEWS




February 16, 2018
Court practice as to parallel import in the Russian Federation significantly changed

According to the decision No. 8-P ruled by the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation on February 13, 2018, taken by results of consideration of the complaint of the interested party, in case of abuse of the trademark rights by the rightholder aimed at the overpricing the goods on the domestic market and/or on restriction of the import of some goods, the courts have the right to refuse in satisfaction of the claim wholly or partially provided that such unfair actions might cause the contravention of the principles of integrity, reasonableness and transparency or to violate the rights and interests of the participants of the civil circulation.

Pursuant to the above-mentioned Constitutional Court decision, the enforcement actions undertaken by the rightholder to prevent parallel import as well as the observance by the rightholder of the sanctions regime against the Russian Federation implemented by any state may be considered as the acts of unfair competition.

Having considered the materials of the complaint the Constitutional Court noted that the liability of the importers for importing the original goods without permission of the trademark owner should not be equated to the liability for importing the counterfeit goods and should be subject to the factual circumstances of the case, so the destruction of products in Russia imported in the frame of the parallel import is permitted only in case of their low quality or for reasons of security, safeguarding people’s life and health, protecting the environment and cultural values.

In view of the recent broad discussions as to the implementation of some exceptions for parallel importation in automotive, pharmaceutical and medical spheres of Russia, the present decision of the Constitutional Court seems to be a step towards liberalization of the Russian market custom policy in IP matters.


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