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Russia & Legal Harmonization: An Historical Inquiry into IP Reform as Global Convergence and Resistance

Boris N. Mamlyuk and Cornell Library

No zkcvu, LawArXiv from Center for Open Science

Abstract: 10 Washington University Global Studies Law Review, (2011) This Article examines several waves of intellectual property (IP) regulation reform in Russia, starting with an examination into early Soviet attempts to regulate intellectual property. Historical analysis is useful to illustrate areas of theoretical convergence, divergence, and tension between state ideology, positive law, and "law in action." The relevance of these tensions for post-Soviet legal reform may appear tenuous. However, insofar as IP enforcement has emerged as one of the largest hurdles for Russia's prolonged accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO), these historical precedents may help explain Russia's apparent theoretical and political disconnect from the WTO. If Russian policymakers and many Western analysts agree that Russia has complied with all necessary structural adjustment reforms for WTO accession (including reforming its IP legislation), then deeper points of contention between Russia and the West must be identified. One point of departure, the Article posits, is Russia's lingering inability to convey adherence to general international law. Thus, this Article re-conceptualizes the link between domestic and international legal orders by connecting the IP debate to broader debates over the nature of international law in the Soviet and post-Soviet space. Specifically, Part I examines how Soviet theorists attempted to reconcile IP regulation with Marxist ideology and socialist international law. Part II surveys the main IP law reform projects in post-Soviet Russia from 1992 to 2006, with particular emphasis on harmonization with global legal standards. The second part also provides a brief comparative analysis of Russia's latest IP law (effective 2008) and copyright protections in U.S. law as well as the 1971 Berne Convention. The Article concludes with an overview of doctrinal debates within Russia over harmonization, WTO accession, and international law. These debates shed light on the development of local resistance to further legal harmonization efforts, an issue of immediate relevance not just for policymakers working with Russia, but for broader law and development debates.

Date: 2018-04-15
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DOI: 10.31219/osf.io/zkcvu

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