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July 20, 2023
John Rizvi, Esq.

Putin Patent Piracy & Patent Theft as a Weapon: Patent Professor John Rizvi on WIOD Radio Miami

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The Brian Mudd show is on NewsRadio 610. Who D span technology, you know, a lot of it has a lot of patent protection behind it or it's supposed to and well, what about Russia? Maybe you've heard their concerns the Russian government saying, hey, we'll just go ahead and rip off no us, you know, patents and US technology and he all these American companies that had been vacating Russia where it's gonna take yourself, and you'll see what we do with it. What about this? Joining us to talk about it is Nova Southeastern University professor, the patent professor, John Rizvi, John, thanks for taking the time.

Thank you. Wonderful to be here.

Okay, so how big of a threat is this whole Russia thing? Do you think?

Yeah, well, from an intellectual property standpoint, it's it's huge. They have two decrees that essentially provide a license to steal any patents from what they deem unfriendly countries. So clearly, this seems to be a response to countries that are pushing for sanctions, and the United States would be included in that. So any intellectual property, and patents, particularly in Russia, are at risk?

John, I hear this, and I understand the potential severity of it. The cynical side of me, and I'm curious to get your thoughts on this. I think back, for example, you, you have to go back like what like four or five years ago, maybe even longer now, when China we found them cracked into the backdoor, the US Chamber of Commerce for like two years, they were stealing all kinds of information and intellectual property from American companies, bad actors like China. And I imagine they even Russia on a good day is not exactly, you know, playing on the straight and narrow. I mean, what's the likelihood that, you know, countries like Russia or China aren't just ripping this off anyway?

Well, I mean, the big difference here, this is not, you know, there's, there's always been concerned about the US patents or publications that are published and the patents are published. And China taking that intellectual property from the United States, this is a completely different situation, in that you have US and international patent holders, that own intellectual property in Russia. So this is violating the rights directly of the patent holders in Russia that own rights, if they're deemed to be from an unfriendly country. So it's extremely broad. And that's why I call it a license to steal.

Got it? Yeah. I mean, that is a good distinction. Any idea where this whole situation goes from here? Or I mean, what's even the likelihood? It's kind of ironic, because you think about the falling of the call Cold War, the steel curtain, and all these American companies moving into Russia was kind of that final sign that, hey, you know, things really are different now. Now, it feels like we're back in that cold war era, I, you know, could have be decades again, before you see American companies are even interested in having that kind of presence.

And, of course, you know, the the other side is a lot of people are not looking at these companies and saying that, hey, they took a calculated risk, and really not having that much sympathy for them. McDonald's has 850 restaurants in Russia, and is losing $50 million a month from those restaurants being shuttered. But the long term impact is is even greater, like if, if the not only the loss of the intellectual property. If the oligarchs wanted to take over those restaurants and decided to continue and not pay any royalties or any payments whatsoever, that's a possibility. But that, you know, the long term impact in terms of US companies or any world companies investing in Russia, again, I think they've just shown to be very unstable in terms of intellectual property. So what would filing a patent what would be the long term gain if that patent right can be violated at whim?

John, I referenced China earlier. And obviously China is Russia's closest ally at this point. And you know, they're the only thing they've done since the invasion of Ukraine is extent, additional trade relations with Russia. And we've seen the provocation Taiwan and everything else. Obviously, that would be the much bigger domino if if something were to go down there. What are you keeping your eye on in that regard?

Well, there's, you know, one thing to keep in mind is that a lot of people lose sight of this because there are international treaties relating to patent law. There's a myth out there that there's somehow an international patent, but there's no such thing nor is there an international trademark. Essentially, these are rights that are territorial. And in times of war. I mean, the typical It's not just chemical, biological, nuclear weapons, but we're now seeing intellectual property used as a war tactic. And in terms of what to watch for, you know, this intellectual property owned in China, there's a lot of US companies. I have a lot of clients that have patents filed in China as well. There was there there's a similar decree from China that patent holders and intellectual property from unfriendly countries can be violated at whim.

Well, there's really good perspective, John, and I appreciate you taking the time to share with us thank you so much. Thank you

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