Conference held during the German Week in St. Petersburg

During the conference (photo: Kerstin Schlieper)
During the conference (photo: Kerstin Schlieper)
Russian Federation

On 23 April 2021, the German-Russian conference on the "Structure of the Notarial Profession and its Significance for a Legally Secure Business Cycle" took place as part of the German Week in St. Petersburg. This event was supported by IRZ.

The main organisers on the German side were the Consulate General of the Federal Republic of Germany in St. Petersburg, the Federal State of Saxony, represented by the Saxon State Ministry of Justice and Democracy, and the Chamber of Notaries in Saxony. The Russian representatives at the event were the Law Academy of the Ministry of Justice for the Russian Federation, the Head Office of the Russian Ministry of Justice in St. Petersburg and the St. Petersburg Chamber of Notaries.

The following took part in the conference:

  • Representatives of the notary's office of St. Petersburg and Moscow,
  • German and Russian lawyers and notaries, and
  • Students from 16 branches of the Law Academy of the Ministry of Justice for the Russian Federation.

The participants were welcomed by the Consul of the Consulate General of the Federal Republic of Germany in St. Petersburg, Gunnar Christiansen, the Head of Department at the Russian Ministry of Justice for St. Petersburg, Sergej Feoktistov, and the President of the Saxon Chamber of Notaries, Dr Karsten Schwipps.
Professor Marina Ilyushina, Head of the Department of Civil and Corporate Law of the All-Russian State University of Justice (Law Academy of the Ministry of Justice) moderated the conference. The participants were given presentations on the following topics:

  • The development of notary services in Germany and Russia
  • The fundamental importance of the notary's office
  • The role of the notary's office in the formation of a company in Germany using the example of the formation of a GmbH (limited liability company)
  • The role of the notary's office in the establishment and activities of a Russian company, using the example of a Russian limited liability company
  • The role of the notary's office in the trading in shares of a limited liability company
  • The notary's office in the future
  • The notary's office during a pandemic – challenges and opportunities

Almost all the German and Russian speakers addressed the current situation and the digitalisation of more and more areas of life and work, which also affects the work of notaries. Despite the development of digital technologies, however, notaries are still specialists who are tasked with guaranteeing the legality and security of transactions. The most important principles in their work continue to be impartiality, objectivity, legitimacy and the protection of the rights and legitimate interests of citizens.

The speakers also addressed the fact that restrictions relating to the pandemic would have a negative impact on the work of notaries, but at the same time advance the development of electronic notarial services.

The event took place in a pleasant atmosphere. The participants had plenty of opportunities to discuss their expert knowledge and opinions. This conference during the German Week in St. Petersburg was a good opportunity to get to know each other better and to explore perspectives for cooperation.


Series of lectures on local self-government at the RANEPA University

Graphics: IRZ
Graphics: IRZ
Russian Federation

On 14 and 22 April 2021, IRZ organised two online events on local self-government for students attending the "Project Management in Spatial Development and Planning" further training programme at the RANEPA University (Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration). Around 20 young practitioners attended the lectures.

Lecture on the Hamburg HafenCity urban development project

The speaker at the three-hour online lecture on 14 April was Uwe A. Carstensen, a qualified engineer and Expert Guide at HafenCity Hamburg GmbH. With his lecture "HafenCity: Ambitions, achievements and learning processes from 20 years of urban development in the heart of Hamburg", the IRZ expert informed the students about Europe's largest inner-city urban development project. Covering an area of 157 hectares (388 acres), Hamburg's HafenCity has become a lively urban area used for working, living, education, culture, leisure, tourism and retail. The lecture focused on the following three main areas:

  • basics of urban development around the harbour edge
  • new standards of socially and ecologically sustainable urban development
  • future demands on urban developmen

Urban development in the Berlin-Brandenburg area of the German capital and in Bad Vilbel

The online lecture on 22 April was given by Anja Kneiding, deputy head of the "Spatial Development, Regional Planning" section at the Joint Spatial Planning Department Berlin-Brandenburg, and Dr Thomas Stöhr, Mayor of the town of Bad Vilbel.

Anja Kneiding gave a presentation on regional planning and spatial development in the Berlin-Brandenburg area of the German capital. She focused on the following topics:

  • The German regional development and spatial planning system in general
  • the Regional Planning Act at federal level
  • Laender legislation
  • municipal regulations
  • division of tasks and interaction between the levels
  • local planning autonomy
    • "Special case" Berlin-Brandenburg – a joint authority: How does it work?
    • Example of the State Development Plan for the Berlin-Brandenburg area
    • preparation and participation procedure
    • instruments and enforcement
  • Spatial development – informal instruments for regional development, cooperation formats and projects.

Dr. Thomas Stöhr, Mayor of Bad Vilbel, took over the second part of the lecture and reported on the urban development concepts in the town of Bad Vilbel. Bad Vilbel is a medium-sized town (approx. 35,000 inhabitants) on the outskirts of Frankfurt am Main, which is known nationwide for its mineral springs. Dr. Stöhr spoke about the new "Quellenpark" urban district and its concept, planning and implementation. He also addressed the urban development of the town centre in terms of shopping facilities, medical and office buildings and the development of a town square and public library. The legal basis, including the development scheme, the civil law aspects of land purchase contracts, as well as the financing balance sheet, was also part of his presentation.

The series of lectures was a great success all round. The participants made extensive use of the opportunity to ask questions during the event. Although the lectures were held online, they almost achieved the atmosphere of a face-to-face event.


Virtual “study visit” on the subject of intellectual property

Speakers at the event (from left to right, top to bottom): Manuel Soria Parra, Oliver Nilgen, Dr. Mathias Kochendörfer, Werner Albrecht, Karola Schober and Sabine Link
Speakers at the event (from left to right, top to bottom): Manuel Soria Parra, Oliver Nilgen, Dr. Mathias Kochendörfer, Werner Albrecht, Karola Schober and Sabine Link
Russian Federation

On 12 March 2021, IRZ organised a virtual “study visit” on the subject of intellectual property for Russian patent attorneys and representatives of the IP Court and Rospatent. Rospatent is the Russian equivalent of the German Trademark and Patent Office (DPMA). Around fifty participants followed the event with a great deal of interest.

At the proposal of the Russian partners, the virtual “study visit” dealt with the decline in trademark protection due to lack of use, well-known trademarks and geographical indications and designations of origin.

IRZ was able to enlist six German experts to deliver expert lectures at the event on the following topics:

  • “The decline in trademark protection due to lack of use in Germany and the EU and well-known trademarks” by Manuel Soria Parra (LL.M, a patent attorney, European Patent Attorney, European Trademark and Design Attorney) and Oliver Nilgen (a lawyer specialising in industrial property rights)
  • “The decline of a trademark due to lack of use in Germany” by Dr. Mathias Kochendörfer (a judge at the Higher Regional Court of Frankfurt am Main)
  • “The new EU application and protection system for geographical indications in the spirits sector” by Werner Albrecht (German Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture)
  • “Agriculture and forestry – strategies to promote regional products in Bavaria” by Karola Schober (Bavarian State Ministry of Food)
  • “New developments in the area of geographical indications of origin” by Sabine Link (an expert in geographical indications and designation of origin at the German Trademark and Patent Office)

An interesting discovery for both sides was the fact that well-known trademarks in Germany play a rather minor role, since trademark owners have to continuously refer to them. In Russia, on the other hand, there is a separate legal institution and a special register for well-known trademarks, which guarantees lasting protection for these trademarks. There are many legal disputes concerning the registration and recognition of trademarks as being well-known.

The protection system for geographical indications was also met with a great deal of interest from the Russian audience, since this institution was only set up in Russia in 2020 and its distinction from the designation of origin and of previously registered trademarks is still being called into question regarding their application.

During the event, the participants had plenty of opportunities to chat with the speakers, which led to lively discussions after each lecture.