Copyright Protection of Websites
Natalia Gulyaeva, Office Managing Partner, Hogan Lovells (CIS), Russia
Vadim Nyunyaev, Head of the Intellectual Property Department (Ph. D. in Law), Marketing Communications Department, Corporate Communications Block, Gazprom Neft, Russia
Russian Civil Code does not explicitly recognize websites as objects of copyright. This does not mean that websites are not protected by copyright, but implies the following questions instead: What kind of Intellectual Property are websites? What scope of legal protection they deserve? Are websites protected as a whole or protection covers its parts separately? Some of those questions have recently been clarified by the Russian Supreme Court, which overturn
ed the decisions of lower courts, having disagreed with their refusal to grant claims for prohibiting commercial use of a website with the HTML code similar to one of the plaintiff`s website. The case was remanded for retrial, since the lower courts have not considered HTML code as an independent subject matter of copyright protection and have not ordered court expert examination to resolve this issue, while such examination was necessary given that courts lack the relevant technical knowledge.
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