United with Ukraine
On March 7, 2022, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) announced that it severed its ties with the Federal Service for Intellectual Property of Russia (i.e., Rospatent) and the Eurasian Patent Organization (EAPO) (which is based on Russia), as well as the National Center for Intellectual Property of Belarus. This is consistent with the President Biden’s issuing of sanctions against Russia as a result of its invasion of Ukraine. Also, on March 10, 2022, the USPTO further announced all applications requesting participation in the Global Patent Prosecution Highway (GPPH) with Rospatent would not be granted, and any pending applications will be removed from the GPPH and placed in regular examination queue.
The United States Department of Commerce, of which the USPTO is a part of, recently issued regulations and export controls targeting Russia’s oil and gas sector, as well as military operations.
In response, the Russian government has decreed that any Russian company can use a foreign-owned patent without a license or penalty of infringement. Essentially, a Russian company can engage in patent piracy against any country that imposed sanctions against Russia, which includes the U.S., the European Union, Japan, Canada, Great Britain, and several others (48 in total).
We will continue to monitor the war’s effect on I.P. practice and update anything on the blog.