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02.03.2018

The contribution highlighted issues raised by the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation in its Ruling as of February 13, 2018 No 8-P. In this Ruling, the Constitutional Court set up new limitations on the scope of claims that trademark owners can make against parallel importers. The Constitutional Court checked whether clause 4 article 1252 (the right to destroy infringing goods), article 1487 (the principle of national exhaustion of trademark rights) and clauses 1, 2 and 4 of article 1515 (the right of a trademark owner to demand to destroy trademark infringing goods and require compensation) of the Civil Code comply with the Constitution. Whether these legal rules should be equally applied to initially counterfeit goods and to parallel goods was also subject to the Constitutional Court's consideration. In practice, the new ruling enlarges trademark owners' burden of proof in parallel importation cases: they now must prove good faith in challenging parallel importation and prove that they suffered real damages from parallel importation. To seek for destroying goods, trademark owners must now prove that parallel goods do not comply with internal market requirements or safety requirements, thereby endangering public health and safety.

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