Russia using intellectual property as a war tactic

As part of its deadly assault on Ukraine, Russia has taken the rare step to use intellectual property rights as a war tactic.

In early March, the Russian government issued a decree saying that Russian companies are no longer obliged to compensate owners of patents, utility models and industrial designs from “unfriendly” countries. These are the western states who have issued sanctions against Russia, including the UK and US.

This means that Russian businesses can use intellectual property, such as patented inventions or fashion designs, without having to pay or seek the consent of the rights holders. Affected companies cannot enforce their patents and designs against Russian imitators.

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