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Intellectual property is highly valuable, but often overlooked and, therefore, not appreciated assets of successful businesses. Intellectual property objects are intangible assets, they cannot be “touched”, but it is they that form the basis for competitive and innovative technologies, products, processes and designs. They are basic elements of “brands”, knowledge and skills of a company increasing its value. 

In Russia, the term “intellectual property” includes the following intellectual property objects:

  • works of science, literature and art;
  • computer programs (software) and databases;
  • performances, phonograms, broadcasts;
  • inventions and utility models;
  • designs;
  • selective breeding results;
  • integrated circuit topographies;
  • trade secrets (know-how);
  • trade names and commercial names;
  • trademarks and service marks;
  • appellations of origin of goods.

A specific feature of rights to such intellectual property objects as inventions, utility models, designs and trademarks is the territorial nature of their effect. For instance, the right to an invention registered in one country is valid within its boundaries only. In order to get legal protection for the invention in other countries, it is necessary to file corresponding applications for obtaining titles of protection in these countries, and, what is more, within the established time limits. A number of special international treaties is aimed at facilitating this procedure and providing some privileges for foreign patenting and registration of trademarks.

The Constitution of the Russian Federation mentions “intellectual property” in its Chapter “Rights and Freedoms of Humans and Citizens” which guarantees freedom of creative expression in all spheres of life to every person. Intellectual property is protected by the law (Part I, Section 44). Thus, intellectual property protection is an important guarantee of freedom of creative expression, facilitating the progress of the society.