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Intellectual Property Court Opens in Moscow

A specialized arbitration court that will oversee intellectual property cases opened in Moscow after President Vladimir Putin approved the final list of judges, Kommersant reported Wednesday.

The Intellectual Property Court was established within the commercial court system on July 1, but the president's decision to unite the Supreme Court and the Supreme Court of Arbitration led to delays in its opening.

But now that the new court is up and running, it will deal with cases regarding patent rights, trademark violations and other intellectual property disputes. It will hear several thousand IP cases each year, said Viktor Naumov, a partner at Dentons law firm.

However, it will not have jurisdiction over Internet film piracy. Responsibility for this sphere has been passed to the Moscow City Court, a move that could cause friction between the two bodies, Intellectual Property Court Chairwoman Lyudmila Novosyolova said.

A permanent location for the court also needs to be found. At present, it is renting its premises on Ulitsa Mashkova, near the Supreme Arbitration Court.

Relocating judges to Moscow and providing the new structure with facilities and equipment is expected to cost 2 billion rubles ($60 million). Housing the operation at Skolkovo, the state-owned innovation center outside Moscow, has been discussed as a possibility.

In May last year, a division of the United States Commerce Department put Russia on its annual listing of countries with the poorest intellectual property rights protection for the 16th year in a row. The country promised to fight intellectual property violations more vigorously since it became a member of the World Trade Organization.

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