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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

State Wants Intellectual Property

The Property Ministry has submitted a draft resolution to the Cabinet that would allow the state to confiscate intellectual property -- primarily patents and technical documents -- that was registered during the Soviet era.

"It so happens that all our defense sector enterprises are illegally using state property with no resistance from the government," Deputy Prime Minister Ilya Klebanov, who proposed the measure, said in August.

According to the plan, if intellectual property was created using budget money during the Soviet period, then it should be nationalized.

Since Soviet inventions are the main source of income for Russian arms companies, the state would effectively be handed control of the defense sector, including privately owned companies.

A source in one of the biggest oil companies said 60 percent to 70 percent of the know-how, technology and technical documentation used in the oil sector was developed in the Soviet era.

Under the draft, companies must draw up an inventory of intellecual property in any of three cases: during the reorganization or liquidation of a state unitary company; when signing export contracts for goods that incorporate scientific developments; or when launching joint projects with foreign companies.

After conducting an inventory, property found to have been developed on Soviet funds must be returned to the state and a contract concluded with the Property Ministry for its use.