Foreign rights holders are increasingly viewing Russia as a favourable location in which to manufacture and assemble their goods. Major licensing activity is ongoing in the IT, consumer goods and oil and gas industries. Despite a sluggish track record, licensing in the life sciences sector is also on the rise, as global pharmaceutical companies seek to protect and commercialise their intellectual property further. Another fertile field for collaboration and rights transfer is the telecommunications industry, which in the past has been dominated by local players, but has recently opened up to enhanced foreign investment and involvement. Most high-end licensing work is undertaken by international firms with the capacity to handle large corporate and commercial transactions. Local firms have traditionally focused on litigation and prosecution, but have developed noteworthy licensing practices in recent years, as domestic rights holders become increasingly keen to extract the full value from their intellectual property. As Russia is a developing market in terms of licensing, lawyers generally handle this type of work as part of a broader IP and TMT practice.
The patent practice at this international firm is among the largest in Russia and is held in high regard by market sources. Its clientele is drawn from a wide range of backgrounds and encompasses both domestic and foreign companies. Key areas of focus include patent and technology licensing in the pharmaceutical and petroleum industries, as well as software licensing and other IT contracts. Margarita Divina is an “exceptional non-contentious IP specialist”. Her practice mainly covers transactional and contractual IP issues. In addition to patent and technology licensing, she advises on trademark and brands work, IP due diligence and IP commercialisation strategies.DLA Piper Rus Limited
DLA Piper is home to a “team of excellent practitioners” with sterling technology licensing capabilities. Recent prominent licensing deals have been brokered in the medical devices, computer hardware and alternative energy sources fields. Clients benefit from a comprehensive business law service and the lawyers have proven expertise in managing the IP and technology issues implicit in commercial and corporate transactions. Well known for his trademarks practice, Pavel Arievich is also recommended for his technology-focused licensing work and regularly advises on related issues including know-how and unfair competition. Michael Malloy leads the technology, media and commercial practice group. He advises on a range of commercial contracts and transactions, with a particular focus on intellectual property. He frequently handles patent and know-how licensing, and has longstanding experience in the structuring of technology transfer agreements.Gorodissky & Partners
This domestic outfit is “truly committed to IP” and enjoys a pre-eminent reputation among market commentators. The firm is deeply resourced, with attorneys at law and patent attorneys who offer expert advice on legal and technical issues. Primarily regarded as a prosecution practice, Gorodissky & Partners can also handle licence agreements for its impressive roster of local and overseas clients. Natalia Stepanova is singled out as an adept licensing practitioner who undertakes transactional and contractual work pertaining to the full range of IP rights.Gowling International Inc
A slew of recent hires has greatly strengthened Gowlings’ already impressive showing in IP law. The IP group is ranked among the leading litigation and prosecution practices in the country. The ensemble also gains recognition for its contractual and transactional IP work, which it conducts for a number of high-profile domestic and international clients. Partner Vladislav Ugryumov is a key contact for patent and technology licensing matters.Hogan Lovells (CIS)
Sources praise the proficiency on offer at Hogan Lovells, noting that the practice is “one of the few in Russia capable of handling truly complex licensing”. The firm also offers clients a ‘one-stop shop’, thanks to the myriad legal expertise available. An impressive host of clients from home and abroad value the team’s expert instruction on technology licensing and related matters. Widely reputed by sources, Natalia Gulyaeva heads the IP, media and technology group. She manages an array of contentious and non-contentious IP and TMT work. Recent clients include RUSNANO, a joint stock company focused on the development and commercialisation of nanotechnology. Gulyaeva has advised RUSNANO on various technology transfer and licensing matters in deals with Gazprombank and aircraft engine manufacturer NPO Saturn.Salans
Offering “a high-grade standard of service”, Salans is ackowledged as one of the top IP firms in Russia. Its “responsive and attentive” professionals demonstrate considerable experience in technology licensing and related transactional work. Private and public sector clients are drawn from diverse sectors, including information technology, consumer goods and media. Elena Bedareva specialises in the protection and commercial exploitation of intellectual property. She is lauded as an expert in patent licensing and has recently counselled prominent companies in the food and beverages, tobacco and domestic appliances industries. Praised for his “accessible and timely communication”, Victor Naumov heads the IP, IT and telecommunications practice group. He assists clients in negotiating and drafting technology transfer agreements and other software and technology licensing arrangements. He also advises on regulatory matters across the IT and telecommunications sectors; “his profound knowledge of the industry from both the business and legal perspectives is second to none.”Sojuzpatent
Building on its established presence in the Russian marketplace, Sojuzpatent has successfully developed a leading technology licensing practice. Attorneys at law and patent attorneys work alongside one another and advise on a wide spectrum of IP and IT commercialisation matters, including patent licensing, technology transfer and software licensing. Aleksey Zalesov commands a broad practice in IP matters and wins plaudits for his expertise in drafting and negotiating licence agreements.
Anton Pushkov leads Linklaters’ IP and TMT practice group. In addition to other IP matters, he undertakes patent licensing, technology transfer and IT contractual work for major clients from sectors including banking and finance, telecommunications and food and beverages. The highly reputed Ekaterina Tilling recently arrived at Baker Botts. She divides her time between contentious and non-contentious IP matters. Reflecting the firm’s focus on oil and gas, Tilling advises international and domestic players from this sector on standalone IP and technology licensing, as well as the IP aspects of commercial transactions.