New Rules for Opposition procedure in Russia
By the joint Order of the Ministry of Science and High Education and Ministry of the Economic Development No.644/261, new Rules for Dispute Resolution of the Chamber for Patent Disputes of the Russian Patent and Trademark Office were introduced and came into force on the 6th of September 2020. The new rules has substantially changed the procedure to resolve appeals and oppositions submitted to the Chamber for Patent Disputes harmonizing the overall procedure with that applied by the Russian courts.
Legalizing the widely adopted unofficial practice of arranging for online meetings and hearings, partially due to continued COVID-19 pandemic outbreak, the Rules now formally allow parties to attend the proceedings via video conference calls. This shall only require a request from a respective participant two weeks before the hearing. Audio and video recordings of all hearings shall be available to all parties if requested within 4 months form the hearing.
All kinds of official correspondence, including notices of appeals and oppositions, requests, and responses may now be filed via the official RUTPO website by using a personal account. The official website information will include receipts of opposition filed and official notifications to participants shall contain necessary coded identifiers, allowing to access all case materials from their personal accounts.
Formality check of submitted documents shall be shortened from 1 month to just 5 business days. Upon payment of the official fee for opposition or appeal, the first hearing must be set within 1 month for appeals against the RUPTO’s decisions, and 2 months for other oppositions.
Possible postponements of hearings are now more specific and shortened. The board of examiners now may only postpone hearings for 1 month at most in case of additional questions or arguments presented by parties, or whether an opposition is accompanied by a significant number of documents. The same applies for a sudden sick leave of a member of the board. Hearing may be also postponed for no longer than 2 months due to participant’s motivated request and for no longer than 3 months if the board seeks for an independent expert’s opinion.
In contrast to the previous version of the Rules patent owners can now independently request the board to consider the amended claims during the procedure. Claims can be amended on the basis of application materials without broadening the patent scope before the opposition, which is supposed to provide patent owners more flexibility and freedom to keep patents in amended form. On the other hand, petitioners submitting oppositions may raise new grounds as a course of opposition procedure in response to patent proprietor’s line of arguments or suggested amendments.
To recap the new Rules substantially clarify the procedure at the Chamber for Patent Disputes making it more suitable and transparent for all participants and general public.
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