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IP News Eastern Europe

February 2021

IP NEWS

Russia Introduces Measures against Discriminatory Internet Censorship

Amendments to the Russian Law on Measures against Persons Associated with Human Rights Violations entered into force on January 10, 2021, granting the Federal Service for Supervision of Communications, Information Technology and Mass Media (Roskomnadzor) the authority to block the Internet resources, including social media platforms and websites, which are recognized as discriminatory and violating Russian citizens’ fundamental rights, including the freedom of access to information.

The amended law stipulates the following criteria when identifying discriminatory Internet resources:

  • The resource is either targeted at or used by Russian citizens and legal entities (including registered media) for sharing information in Russian, the official languages of Russian territories or other languages used by the Russian population; and

  • The resource limits the spread of information important for the public (including registered media’s messages and materials) because of the information source’s nationality, language, origin, financial or official position, profession, place of residence or work, attitude towards religion and/or in connection with foreign sanctions against Russia, its citizens and companies; or

  • The resource applies other limitations or restrictions that violate the freedom of the Russian citizens to search, receive, transfer, produce and share information.

Because the list of grounds is not exhaustive, additional types of discriminatory restrictions seem to be subject to interpretation by the authorities.

The draft amendments were suggested in November 2020 as a response to multiple restrictions allegedly imposed by foreign Internet resources on Russian media, limiting Russian citizens’ access to the information they published. According to the Supporting Memorandum to the draft amendments to the Law on Information and the Law on Measures against Persons Associated with Human Rihts Violations, since April 2020, the Russian authorities have received several complaints from Russian media companies regarding censorship by Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. The Supporting Memorandum names Russia Today, RIA Novosti and Crimea24 among the censored media and reports about 20 instances of discrimination.

An Internet resource can be declared discriminatory by the Attorney General or their deputies upon agreement with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The decision is immediately reported to Roskomnadzor, which should publish information regarding the Internet resource in the Register of Discriminatory Resources on their website within 24 hours. Once the Internet resource is included in the Register, Roskomnadzor should notify its owner and request that they stop the violation.

If the owner does not cease the violation, the Internet resource will be partially or entirely blocked. However, if the owner complies with the requirements, Roskomnadzor will notify the Attorney General and their deputies, who can in turn reverse the decision upon agreement with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. After receiving the appropriate decision, Roskomnadzor will exclude the Internet resource from the Register.

The law was adopted and entered into force less than two months after its proposal, and the text of the law does not show attention to detail. For example, it does not stipulate the exact term within which the Internet resource owner can react to the notification before being blocked, whether the Attorney General’s decision can be appealed or what happens to the Internet resource during the appeal. However, considering that Roskomnadzor has already addressed several requests to Google LLC to restore access to certain YouTube videos, the development of these cases may provide answers to these questions soon.

By: Mayya Pak

For more information, please contact Mayya Pak at our Russia office.

Czech, Serbian and Slovak National Patent Data Added to PATENTSCOPE

PATENTSCOPE, WIPO’s free patent search system, started offering access to Czech, Serbian and Slovak national patent documents on December 15, 2020.

PATENTSCOPE now offers patent data of 69 national offices.

Prepared by: Djurdja Krivokapić

For more information, please contact mail@petosevic.com.

Hungarian Officials Detain Fake Sneakers

The Hungarian National Tax and Customs Administration (NTCA) officials recently detained 288 pairs of sneakers believed to infringe the Adidas® and Tommy Hilfiger® trademarks while inspecting a truck on the M7 motorway in western Hungary.

The sneakers, which were discovered in a truck arriving from Croatia, were estimated to be worth approximately EUR 11,000 (USD 13,400).

Prepared by: Erika Farkas

For more information, please contact hungary@petosevic.com.

Serbian Customs Detain Fake Accessories and Labels

On January 27, 2021, Serbian customs officials at the Gradina border crossing point with Bulgaria detained 13 sets of watches, jewelry and other accessories believed to infringe the Rolex® and Louis Vuitton® trademarks. The goods were discovered during the inspection of a car travelling from Bulgaria to Germany.

On February 3, 2021, at the same border crossing point, customs officials detained 1,200 textile and carton labels infringing the Zara® trademark. The labels were carried by one of the passengers in a bus travelling from Turkey to Serbia.

Prepared by: Djurdja Krivokapić

For more information, please contact serbia@petosevic.com.

Belarusian Authorities Seize Six Tons of Counterfeit Butter

Belarusian Ministry of Internal Affairs officials in the city of Barysaw in central Belarus have recently put an end to the production and sale of butter infringing several trademarks of well-known Belarusian dairy producers.

The Iow-grade butter was brought from Russia and stored in the town of Orsha in northeastern Belarus. It was then packaged and labelled with trademarks of Belarusian dairy producers and advertised and sold all over the country.

The authorities seized more than 5.7 tons of counterfeit butter, as well as packaging material, computers and accounting documents. The estimated damage caused to the right holders is approximately EUR 29,000 (USD 35,000).

Prepared by: Anastasia Khioni

For more information, please contact belarus@petosevic.com.

COMPANY NEWS

PETOŠEVIĆ Highly Ranked by WTR 1000 in 2021

World Trademark Review has recently published its annual WTR 1000 directory identifying the world’s leading trademark professionals. Eight PETOŠEVIĆ offices and 15 practitioners have been recognized.

Our offices have been ranked as follows:

Albania — Recommended as one of the top IP firms
Bulgaria — Silver band
Croatia — Gold band
Romania — Enforcement and Litigation – Silver band; Prosecution and Strategy – Silver band

Russia – Prosecution and Strategy – Bronze band
Serbia — Gold band
Slovenia — Silver band
Ukraine — Silver band

PETOŠEVIĆ practitioners recognized by WTR 1000 are Predrag Anokić, Dimitar Batakliev, Aura Campeanu, Balázs Csányi, George Irimescu, Yuriy Karlash, Ivan Kos, Tatyana Kulikova, Vladimir Nika, Petia Petrova, Dina Petošević, Slobodan Petošević, Anamarija Stančić Petrović, Mihajlo Zatezalo and Mirjana Živković.

For more information and to read client testimonials about PETOŠEVIĆ and our team, visit our Awards page.

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