FORENSIC EXAMINATION according to the Russian procedural law is a step in legal proceedings consisting of forensic investigations and expert testimony in response to the questions raised by the court, judge, agency of inquiry, interrogating officer, investigator or prosecutor, which requires strong expertise in specific area of science, technology, art or trade. A written testimony prepared by an expert upon the results of forensic investigations is accepted by the court as one of important evidences.
FORENSIC EXAMINATION can be entrusted to public judicial institutions and experts as well as to private experts for the purposes of providing assistance to the courts, judges, interrogating officers, investigators or prosecutors in establishment of facts subject to be proven in particular civil, criminal or administrative proceedings. Activity of public and private forensic institutions and experts is governed by the Russian Federal Forensic Examination Act No. 73 of May 31, 2001 and other procedural regulations. Patent forensic testimony is considered to be one of the most crucial evidences in Intellectual Property infringement cases. In most legal proceedings forensic examination of the IP-related subject-matter is regarded as a type of investigation appointed in purpose of determining either IP rights violation or the absence of infringement. According to the Russian Civil Code (Chapter IV) the following Intellectual Property is enforceable:
1) Literary, artistic and scientific works,
2) Software (computer software),
6) Air and cable communication of TV- and radio broadcasts to the public (broadcast of radio- and TV-broadcasting corporations),
8) Utility models,
9) Industrial designs,
10) Selective breeding results,
11) Semiconductor topologies,
13) Firm names,
14) Trademarks and service marks,
15) Appellations of origin,
16) Trade names
Traditionally, expertise means the knowledge beyond the scope of general education, which is acquired through specialization in some particular professional area, in some specific art, science or technology, based on theoretical and methodological standards of respective areas and furthermore supported by skills background.
Which expertise the people qualified by courts as independent forensic experts must actually have? Does such expert need any knowledge of law? Does an IP expert need any legal knowledge in fact? A well-known and unanimous opinion which had been famous by the recent times was that the legal knowledge is not something ‘specific’. Such view apparently was provoked by the USSR Supreme Court Plenum 1971 Official Explanation which stated that the courts must not raise legal questions to be solved by a forensic expert as such questions do not pertain to his competence. Now such attitude seems outdated. Patent Attorney’s participation in legal proceedings is considered as ordinary and wide-spread nowadays.
Questions to be solved by forensic experts appointed by the court to investigate IP rights infringement can inter alia contain the following one: “Are all the substantive features or equivalent features, included in the independent Claim of the invention (utility model) according to the Patent No. XXX, are used in technical documentation submitted for examination?». It is apparent that the details and units mentioned in the technical documentation can be designated or named differently than the features of patent Claims. In this case a forensic expert has to construe the substantive features of invention according to the Specification included in the letters patent or utilize the doctrine of equivalents. This would be hard to do for a person having no specific legal knowledge.
The Intellectual property rights are enforceable with respect to technical devices, software, works of art, literature, etc. In this regard the courts often appoint a complex forensic examination with the participation of a patent attorney and a person skilled in some specific art, depending on the area the IP (subject-matter of forensic examination) pertains to.
Our staff has a patents-related education and a wide range of technical expertise and testimony experience used in IP enforcement cases. Our experts have many times been qualified in commercial and general courts as forensic examiners. Most of our experts have the second special education which ensures their ability to provide professional expert testimony in courts and to serve justice by making an accurate determination of the facts involved.