IP Protection Excluded from OFAC Sanctions

May 20 2022 - 17:17

On May 5, 2022, the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) of the US Department of the Treasury clarified the Russian Harmful Foreign Activities Sanctions Regulations 31 CFR part 587 by issuing General License No. 31 (Authorizing Certain Transactions Related to Patents, Trademarks and Copyrights).

Under the License, US IP right owners are allowed to continue to register, own, maintain and attempt to enforce or defend IP rights in Russia, as long as they do not facilitate payments through sanctioned financial institutions.

The following actions are specifically authorized:

  • The filing and prosecution of any application to obtain a patent, trademark, copyright,
    or other form of intellectual property protection;
  • The receipt of a patent, trademark, copyright, or other form of intellectual property
    protection;
  • The renewal or maintenance of a patent, trademark, copyright, or other form of
    intellectual property protection; and
  • The filing and prosecution of any opposition or infringement proceeding with respect
    to a patent, trademark, copyright, or other form of intellectual property protection, or the
    entrance of a defense to any such proceeding.

On May 5, the USPTO also published an announcement on its website saying that any questions regarding General License No. 31 should be directed to OFAC at OFAC_Feedback@treasury.gov.

So far, we are not aware that any other country has introduced a similar exception.

For any questions, please contact operations@petosevic.com.

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