Amendments to the Law of the Russian Federation on the Legal Protection of Topographies of Integrated Circuits - RUSSOFT
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Amendments to the Law of the Russian Federation on the Legal Protection of Topographies of Integrated Circuits

Dec 19, 2002
Federal Law No 82-FZ dated July 9 2002, which came into effect on July 20 2002, introduced several amendments to Law of the Russian Federation on the Legal Protection of Topographies of Integrated Circuits (hereinafter - the "Law"). The amendments served two objectives: First, they brought the Law into compliance with the Constitution of the Russian Federation and subsequent Russian legislation and the requirements of Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights Agreement to facilitate Russia's accession to the World Trade Organization. Secondly, the amendments set out the government's rights in cases where integrated circuits are created under governmental procurement. This update summarizes the major amendments.

The amendment to article 2 of the Law brought the regulation of integrated circuits topographies into the exclusive competence of the Russian Federation, as prescribed by the Constitution of the Russian Federation. The previous version of the Law, adopted back in 1992, had allowed for regulation by the subjects of the Russian Federation, which was contrary to Article 71 of the Constitution.

The definition of the term "protected topographies of integrated circuits" (Article 2 of the Law) was amended to include the requirement that the topography "must have been unknown to the author or specialists in this area prior to the date of creation." The definition of the term "protected topographies of integrated circuits" therefore, in addition to the requirement of originality (creativity), now includes the requirement of novelty. The exception is a topography consisting of a combination of elements that individually are not novel. Such a topography will be protected provided that the combination of elements satisfies the originality requirement.

The amendments replace the concept of 'property rights' to topographies of integrated circuits with the concept of 'exclusive rights', without actually changing their scope.

According to these amendments, the exclusive rights to topographies of integrated circuits created by an employee in the course of employment belong to the employer.

The amendments give the Russian Federation or its subjects certain prerogative rights in respect of topographies of integrated circuits created under the governmental procurement contract.

The exclusive right in a topography of integrated circuits created under governmental procurement contract, belongs to the contractor unless otherwise specified in the respective governmental procurement contract.

In the event that the exclusive right in a topography of integrated circuits created under a governmental procurement contact is acquired by persons other than the Russian Federation and the regions of the Russian Federation, the rights holder must grant a license to the Russian Federation or its region at no charge, for the purposes of governmental procurement.

Topographies of integrated circuits must be registered by the Russian Patent Office. Topographies that contain state secrets are not subject to registration.