Spare parts and expendables shall be delivered to the Russian customers during the whole term of service of a product
In 2022, many companies suspended their activities in Russia, which led to a legal controversy as to whether the companies leaving the Russian market are nevertheless obliged to continue supplying spare parts and technical support to retailers and customers and, if yes, to how long after the date of the actual sale.
While it is a question of mutual consent for commercial products, the consumer market in Russia is regulated by the consumer protection legislation. According to Article 6 of the law of the Russian Federation “On Protection of Consumer Rights” of 1992, a manufacturer is obliged to ensure the possibility of using the product during its entire service life. For this purpose, the manufacturer must support repair and maintenance of the goods, as well as the release and supply to trade and repair organizations the volume and assortment of spare parts required for repair and maintenance during the manufacture period of the goods and during the service life of the goods even after they are no longer manufactured.
If no service life period is set, support must be provided within ten years from the date of transfer of the goods to a consumer.
With regards to the trademark rights, to avoid potential cancellation of a trademark registration on the basis of 3-years period of non-use, it is strongly recommended for trademark owners to keep a trademark license to at least one seller of spare parts in Russia even upon termination of business activity.
With the current influx of products supplied into Russian market by parallel import channels, maintaining trademark rights certainly provides better grounds to combat counterfeit goods.
Patentica will closely monitor current cases to provide a comprehensive overview of the situation with spare parts.