MOSCOW, October 14 (RIA Novosti) – Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday called for increased protection for Russian weapons manufacturers’ intellectual property rights on the global arms market.
“The world arms market is rife with examples of illegal copying of others’ designs, and we have encountered these problems on past occasions,” Putin said at a meeting of the Russian Commission for Military-Technological Cooperation with Foreign States.
“Our task is to ensure a high level of protection for our science-intensive goods and intellectual property, and defend the rights of Russian producers, companies and inventions’ creators,” Putin said.
The president also urged that the protection of intellectual property rights is strengthened in the manufacturing of Russian armaments in foreign countries under licenses in line with international laws.
Putin stressed that this “concerns not only the goods manufactured on the basis of contracts signed during the Soviet period,” particularly regarding Eastern Europe, but also the “legal protection of our latest arms models.”
Experts estimate that exports of illegally produced Russian arms cost the country up to $6 billion a year and also damage Russia's image.
The most notorious example is the illegal production of the famed Kalashnikov assault rifles in at least 15 countries, which is a particular problem in Eastern Europe.
China, despite a 2008 bilateral agreement on intellectual property protection with Russia, has allegedly produced copycat copies of Su-27 and Su-33 fighter jets, as well as S-300 air defense systems, the Smerch multiple rocket launcher and the Msta self-propelled howitzer.