Workshop Brings Russian and US Officials Together

St. Petersburg, Russia IIPI, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and the government of the Russian Federation conducted a three-day workshop on the protection of intellectual property rights through border enforcement.

The audience for the workshop consisted of Russian customs officials from the northwest region of Russia, including St. Petersburg. Speakers included Todd Reves and Mitch Clow from the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Office, Oleg Ashurkov and Elena Izmaylova from the Russian Customs Service, Alexey Kislitsyn from Proctor & Gamble, Dmitriy Poliakov from L’Oreal and Victor Vartanian from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. The assembled experts and audience members participated in lively sessions focused on topics vital to the protection of intellectual property rights in Russia through use of the Russian Customs Service. These topics included how to target shipments for examination, the use of methodologies for determining whether products are counterfeit or legitimate, and how to maximize resources in enforcing intellectual property rights at the Russian border. Panels also focused on proper use of the Russian Customs Code and provided expertise on correct usage of trademark and copyright law when determining possible violations of intellectual property rights in the field. The workshop also included a number of case studies allowing active participation by audience members regarding customs scenarios that could be encountered by them in the workplace.

Over the course of the three days, the Russian audience and U.S. Customs representatives engaged in active dialogues regarding their respective practices and procedures in combating intellectual property rights violations. These discussions were emblematic of the potential for increased awareness of intellectual property in Russia and of how such workshops can lead to a heightening of expertise in this area.