Soviet Union Information Bureau



By decree of the Central Executive Committee of September, 1924, patent laws were established somewhat similar to those in force before the world war. In December, 1924, a Committee on Inventions was created to carry out the provisions of the patent laws and to conduct the business of the Patent Office.

The Soviet patent laws follow the same general lines as those of Germany, and give similar protection to the inventor. The Soviet Union does not belong to the International Patent Convention. It has, however, a special patent agreement with Germany.

Foreigners may obtain patents on equal terms with the citizens of the U.S.S.R. The patent may be also granted to a corporation when it is difficult to determine the work of an individual inventor in an industrial organization. Patents are issued for a term of 15 years and there is no filing fee. Taxes on the invention are paid only after it has been realized or exploited.

The patent gives exclusive right to the inventor to exploit the invention industrially in the U.S.S.R. The patentee may manufacture and sell his invention, he may license other manufacturers, or he may sell or assign his patent. At the expiration of the term of five years after the grant of a patent the inventor must show that he is working his patent in the U.S.S.R., the rules in this respect being similar to those prevailing in other European countries. The inventor may lose his patent if it is proved before the court that he is using his patent only as a means to exclude the invention from general use. If the inventor neglects to work his patent, he may be compelled to grant manufacturing licenses at a royalty fixed by the courts.

During the first three years of the operation of the new patent laws, the following number of patent applications were received by the Committee on Inventions:

1924-25 5,451
1925-26 8,249
1926-27 8,323
Total for three years 22,023

Out of this number 3,938 applicantions were filled by foriegners, distributed among the principle countries as follows:

Germany 2,666
United States 245
England 210
Holland 170
Sweden 137
Austria 109
France 91
Czecho-Slovakia 63
Italy 54
Spain 32
Other Countries 161
Total 3,938

It will be noted that by far the largest number of patent applications was received from German inventors. As the table shows, the total number of German applications was more than ten times the number of applications from the United States.

The distribution of German patent applications in the U.S.S.R. for the three years that the patent laws have been in force was as follows:

1924-25 325
1925-26 573
1926-27 1,768
Total 2,666

Since the work of the Committee on Inventions started practically anew three years ago, it is not surprising that a comparatively small number of patents has been granted to date. Number of patents granted in the past three years:

1924-25 690
1925-26 1,019
1926-27 1,946
Total 3,655

Out of the total number 396 patents have been granted to foreign inventors, or about 11 per cent.

The patent applications cover a wide field of inventions classified into 90 groups. The largest number of patent applications (2,551) is in the class of Electrical and Radio Apparatus. Next follow Instruments and Apparatus (1,256), Chemical Processes and Apparatus (1,101) and Railroad Appliances (849). The next ten groups are shown below:

Internal Combustion Engines and Spring Motors 573
Parts of Machines 522
Agricultural Implements 505
Furnaces and Gas Producers 449
Household Appliances 431
Machines and Tools for Metals 415
Steam Boilers 386
Aviation 371
Wind and Water Motors 347
Firearms and Ammunition 334

The encouragement given by the patent laws and by the Committee on Inventions to individual inventors has resulted in the development of a number of important inventions, which are being exploited in the U.S.S.R. on a considerable scale. The Committee on Inventions publishes a monthly journal containing abstracts of patents and articles and communications pertaining to patent practice in the U.S.S.R.

Trade Marks

Patents for trade marks in the U.S.S.R. may be obtained by foreign manufacturers who are permitted to do business in the territory of the U.S.S.R. or who are nationals of a country permitting the registration of trade marks for citizens of the U.S.S.R. Since the laws of the United States permit the registration of trade marks of applicants from the Soviet Union, a similar privilege is enjoyed reciprocally in the U.S.S.R. by American citizens. The term of registration is fixed by the applicant. The filing fee is 10 rubles, and the registration fee is 5 rubles per year.

During the past three years 1779 trade marks have been registered in U.S.S.R., including 891 of foreign origin.

Copyright Laws

Under the statutes of the U.S.S.R. and the copyright laws and decrees of the Constituent Republics writers are strictly protected in the property rights to their work. Laws and decrees on copyright may be found in the Soviet Union Review, published by the Soviet Union Information Bureau, issue of November, 1928.

In connection with foreign works, the basic decree of 1928 reads: "In the case of works published abroad or existing abroad in the shape of manuscript, sketch or some other concrete form, copyright shall be recognized only if there is a special agreement between the U.S.S.R. and the country concerned, and only within the limits established by such agreement."