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Top Court Says Foreigners Must Not Pay More Than Russians at Patent Office

The Supreme Arbitration Court Sergei Porter

Foreigners may be used to being charged steeper fees than Russians to visit museums, but there's one place where they can now pay the same amount: the patent office.

The Supreme Arbitration Court has ruled that foreigners shouldn't have to pay more than Russians when they appeal to the Rospatent to recognize their legal ownership of patents in patent disputes, Rapsi news agency reported.

Foreigners have been charged fees seven times higher than Russians.

"Such discrimination makes it much more difficult to combat the so-called patent racket that has became widespread in Russia because of the flaws in patent legislation," said Alexander Osokin, the lawyer who successfully argued against the higher fees before the court on behalf of Czech businessman Jan Topol, according to Rapsi.

Double-tiered prices have long been an irritation to some foreigners, who have found themselves paying admission fees much steeper than the amount asked of Russians at tourist magnets like museums, theaters and churches. Talk has swirled about the introduction of single fees, but the two-price system remains intact in many places.

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