Washington, D.C. - As critical amendments to Russia's intellectual property legislation are debated in the Russian State Duma, five key Russian Duma deputies will visit Washington, D.C., from May 17 to May 23 for high-level discussions with U.S. officials on intellectual property rights issues. The visit is sponsored by the OPEN WORLD Program of the Center for Russian Leadership Development at the Library of Congress and organized by the Coalition for Intellectual Property Rights (CIPR).
The visiting State Duma deputies are involved in finalizing legislation that would put the country's trademark and patent law in line with international standards of intellectual property protection. The State Duma delegation includes:
- Adrian Georgievich Puzanovskiy - Deputy Chairman, Committee for Education and Science
- Petr Borisovich Shelishch - Deputy Chairman, Committee for Science, Construction, and Technology
- Vyacheslav Ivanovich Shport - Deputy Chairman, Committee for Science, Construction, and Technology
- Yaroslav Mikhaylovich Shvyryaeyv - Deputy Chairman, Committee for Science, Construction, and Technology
- Aleksandr Mikhaylovich Yashin - Deputy Chairman, Committee for Science, Construction, and Technology
"These Russian parliamentary leaders are making strides in the intellectual property reform process in Russia," said Dr. James H. Billington, chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Center for Russian Leadership Development. "This visit allows delegation members to exchange ideas with their counterparts in the U.S. Congress and with top agency officials, and to observe ways in which the United States protects the rights of trademark, patent and copyright owners."
Meetings will take place with Members of Congress, as well as members of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) IP Working Group for Russia; officials at the Federal Trade Commission, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, the U.S. Copyright Office at the Library of Congress; and members of the U.S.-Russia Business Council and other trade associations. The delegation will also participate in International Trademark Association (INTA) activities from May 19 through May 22 where experts and practitioners will speak on trademark topics and issues to over 5,000 professionals from over 120 countries around the world.
Russian delegation member Petr Shelishch recently sponsored proposed amendments to Russia's IP law pertaining to anti-counterfeiting and IP rights enforcement. One important provision in the Shelishch amendments is the requirement that confiscated counterfeit goods be either transferred to the legitimate trademark owner for disposal, or destroyed by the state.
"The trip to Washington, D.C. for the series of IP meetings is a further indicator that the Russian State Duma is moving forward in providing the legislative base to fight counterfeits and protect the intellectual property rights of Russian and foreign investors," said CIPR President Peter Necarsulmer. "The only way these issues can be resolved is through intensive cooperation among industry, government, and leading consumer organizations. The OPEN WORLD Program is an example of this type of important cooperation."
CIPR studies show that IP abuse costs government and industry in excess of two billion dollars a year. Only two weeks ago, CIPR announced the results of its survey conducted with the Association of International Pharmaceutical Manufacturers (AIPM), which found that counterfeit medicines in Russia total 12 percent of the Russian marketplace - much higher than previous Russian government and industry estimates - and cost pharmaceutical companies more than $250,000,000 annually, including lost sales and increased enforcement expenses.
Previously known as the Russian Leadership Program, OPEN WORLD is designed to foster mutual understanding between the United States and the Russian Federation and to further the process of building democracy and a market economy in Russia. OPEN WORLD participants range from State Duma deputies to small-town mayors, from innovative nonprofit directors to experienced journalists, and from political party activists to regional administrators. Nearly 4,000 OPEN WORLD visitors from all of Russia's 89 regions have been hosted by 48 states since the program's inception, making it the largest and most geographically diverse exchange the United States has ever conducted with Russia.
CIPR is a public-private partnership dedicated to advancing intellectual property rights protection and reform in the Baltic states, CIS states and other countries that were part of the former Soviet Union. CIPR is the only organization in the region solely dedicated to forming public-private partnerships to solve the problems of patent violations, trademark infringements and counterfeits. Additional information on CIPR can be found at http://www.cipr.org/ .