On May 5, 2022, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control issued General License No. 31, which authorizes certain intellectual property-related transactions in Russia, including the filing and prosecution of any application for obtaining a patent, trademark or copyright, as well as the payment of renewal and maintenance fees. The general license authorizes transactions that were previously prohibited by the Russian Harmful Foreign Activities Sanctions Regulations (31 CFR Part 587) imposed by the United States in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Under the General License, the following operations are now permitted:
- Filing and pursuing any application for a patent, trademark, copyright or any other form of intellectual property protection;
- receipt of any patent, trademark, copyright or other form of intellectual property protection;
- The renewal or maintenance of a patent, trademark, copyright or other form of intellectual property protection; and
- The filing and prosecution of any opposition or infringement proceeding with respect to any patent, trademark, copyright or other form of intellectual property protection, or introduction of a defense in such proceedings.
The General License, however, does not do not authorize (1) the opening or maintenance of a correspondent account or a transit account for, or on behalf of, any Russian financial institution subject to the provisions of Executive Order 14024, (2) debit any Russian financial institution, or (3) importing products into the United States that are prohibited by Executive Orders 14066 or 14068.
As the situation in Ukraine continues, it is unclear what further steps the United States may take with respect to intellectual property-related transactions in Russia, and how Russia may continue to deal with intellectual property. held by the American candidates. Therefore, it is important that US filers continue to monitor the situation and be aware of any major developments that may affect their intellectual property rights.