International scientific-practical Conference on “Intellectual Property Rights: The Challenges of the 21st Century”

Excerpt from the programme booklet (courtesy of the event organisers)
Excerpt from the programme booklet (courtesy of the event organisers)
Russian Federation

From 10 to 14 November 2020, the international scientific-practical online conference on “Intellectual Property Rights: The Challenges of the 21st Century” was held in Tomsk with the support of IRZ. More than 900 people from 16 countries took part in the event, which was aimed at experts in the field:

  • judges,
  • representatives of the Russian Federal Service for Intellectual Property (Rospatent),
  • patent attorneys
  • academics and
  • other experts in the field of intellectual property.

One of the many speakers at the event was the Deputy Head of the Department for Control over Advertising and Unfair Competition at the Federal Antimonopoly Service of the Russian Federation (the equivalent to the German Federal Cartel Office), Yana Sklyarova. She gave a lecture during the session on “Competition law and intellectual property” at the conference.

Each day of the event focussed on a different topic:

  • 10 November – opening and plenary session
  • 11 November – cumulative protection of design
  • 12 November – industrial property rights
  • 13 November – competition law and intellectual property
  • 14 November – digital rights and rights to new technologies

The German experts appointed by IRZ were involved on three of the five days of the conference. Dr. Ina Schnurr, a judge at the German Federal Patent Court, gave a speech at the plenary session on 10 November. Her lecture provided an insight into patent nullity proceedings at the German Federal Patent Court. She also presented a few examples of the latest rulings made by the court in the area of patents and supplementary protection certificates.
On 11 November, Manuel Soria Parra, a patent attorney at the “Meissner Bolte” law firm, took part in the session on the “Cumulative Protection of Design”. His lecture provided an overview of the potential and significance of design protection in Europe and Germany and also took a brief look at the effects of Brexit on registered European design patents.

Prof. Dr. Christian Czychowski and Dr. Anke Nordemann-Schiffel from the Nordemann law firm took part in the session held on 13 November. As lawyers and specialists in copyright law and media law, they spoke about “Competition Law and intellectual Property - an Overview from an EU Perspective”. Their lecture pointed out the inherent conflict between intellectual property rights and competition law and provided examples of how the balance between freedom of competition and protecting rights to intellectual property is maintained.

The conference was broadcast live on YouTube. This gave the general public the opportunity to ask questions in the chat session, which led to lively discussions after each lecture. The great success of the conference was reflected in the high number of participants from an international background and the wide range of subjects discussed.

German-Russian conference on “Law and the digital state”

IRZ expert Dr. Daniel Lübcke, a regional court judge and desk officer in the IT department at the Ministry of Justice for the North Rhine-Westphalia region, during his lecture (screenshot)
IRZ expert Dr. Daniel Lübcke, a regional court judge and desk officer in the IT department at the Ministry of Justice for the North Rhine-Westphalia region, during his lecture (screenshot)
Russian Federation

On 11 November 2020, IRZ supported the German-Russian online conference on “Law and the digital state” organised by its long-standing partner, the Law Academy of the Ministry of Justice for the Russian Federation. Around fifty academics and students from many different branches of the Law Academy, for example from Moscow, St. Petersburg, Tula, Kazan and Yekaterinburg took part in the conference.

The participants discussed the following topics:

  • Current developments and improvements for the E-Government state policy in the Russian Federation
  • The implementation of e-Justice in North Rhine-Westphalia
  • The legal framework for remote electronic voting in the Russian Federation, introduction of the modern model
  • IT-based legal methodology for the optimum review of legislation and the application of the law

The expert appointed by IRZ to take part in the event was Dr. Daniel Lübcke, a regional court judge and desk officer inf the IT department at the Ministry of Justice for the North Rhine-Westphalia region. His lecture on “Introducing e-Justice in NRW” was met with a great deal of interest from the audience. Dr. Lübcke reported on the introduction of electronic legal transactions and electronic files to the justice system in North Rhine-Westphalia. This included a presentation of the system for ensuring the general security of electronic mail exchange:

  • Electronic court and administration inbox,
  • De-Mail and
  • special mailboxes for lawyers, notaries and authorities.

Dr. Lübcke also talked about the legal regulations and technical implementation of electronic communications. His practical examples and explanations of the “e2-Verbund” association were particularly interesting.

The participants were also able to listen to lectures by Russian scientists and academics from the St. Petersburg branch of the Law Academy:

  • Dr. Anna Markevitch: Actual directions in the development and improvement of the E-Government state policy in the Russian Federation at this point in time.
  • Dr. Nikolay Tchimarov: The legal framework for the introduction of the modern model of remote electronic voting in the Russian Federation
  • Dr. Egor Trofimov and Dr. Oleg Metzker: IT-based legal methodology for the optimum review of legislation and the application of the law

The online format for this event meant that IRZ could safely continue its academic communication with its Russian partners during the Coronavirus pandemic. The conference gave the participants an interesting insight into the current status of research and practice on the subject of the digital state. The experts provided very detailed answers to the many questions asked by the participants during discussion rounds following each lecture.

International Round Table on “Urban governance: problems, challenges and perspectives in the present circumstances”

During the conference in the offices of the Union of Russian Cities (photo: Union of Russian Cities)
During the conference in the offices of the Union of Russian Cities (photo: Union of Russian Cities)
Russian Federation

On 18 September 2020, IRZ supported international online round table discussions on “Urban governance: problems, challenges and perspectives in the present circumstances”. This was financed as part of a project supported by the German Foreign Office. The Round Table was organised by a long-term partner of IRZ, the Russian Committee for Civil Initiatives (KGI), together with the Union of Russian Cities. About fifty leading scientists and academics from the field of municipal law took part in the event, as well as local authority self-administration representatives from the Russian Federation, Germany, USA, China, Spain, Turkey and Finland.

The participants discussed the following three main issues:

  • What has been the reaction of municipalities to the current challenges faced during the pandemic and to the associated socio-economic crisis?
  • How should urban governance policies be changed if the right lessons are learned from the pandemic?
  • What kind of new urban governance will be required once the pandemic is over?

Representing Germany at the event was Prof. Dr. Jochen Franzke, a professor at the Institute of Local Government Studies at the University of Potsdam. His lecture on “What can cities learn from the COVID-19 pandemic? Experiences in Germany” was met with a great deal of interest from the audience. Professor Franzke presented the results of a new research focus by the Institute of Local Government Studies at the University of Potsdam on crisis management by municipalities in Germany compared with other municipalities in Europe.

The round table discussions served above all as a platform for the international exchange of experiences on the subject of urban governance. Even though the event had to be transformed into an online format due to the Coronavirus situation, there were still plenty of opportunities for the participants to join in with the discussions.

In addition, another event supported by IRZ took place on 21 September 2020 under the title “Russian cities following the Coronavirus crisis: Changes in lifestyle, economic organisation and the development of infrastructure”, to which Professor Franzke was also invited as a speaker.