Russia » Economics
Author`s name Dmitry Sudakov

Intellectual assets of Russian companies still beyond state control

According to the results of the investigation in this field non-material assets in Russia account for just 0.3%, whereas in other countries they reach 30%. This is why the government is to start a comprehensive inventory and reassessment of the already available non-material assets, including those inherited from Soviet times. This “heritage” alone can bring the specific share of the non-material assets to 15-20%. Without this research centers of the foreign companies working in Russia receive super profits. The measures aimed at proper assessment of the intellectual property are an integral part of the government’s plans to go over to the innovations based economy. So far nothing has been done in this field. According to the data of the Auditing Chamber the registered intellectual assets of the top Russian high tech companies are on the ridiculously low level. For example, Sukhoi has non-material assets worth RUB 3.3 million, Ilyushin – RUB 11000.

In spite of the fact that according to the existing legislation the ministries are obliged to keep account of the non-material assets, this is not done. In 2005-2006 the federal budget paid for the R&D under the state contracts with the Ministry of Information 337 million RUB, with the Nuclear Agency - 911 million RUB, with the Space Agency - 30 billion RUB, with the Agency of Industry - 7 billion RUB. But the bureaucrats from these institutions were unable to report on the results of the R&D. Absence of the control of such spending leads to a complete chaos in the R&D related cash flows. Very often intellectual assets owned by the state are not taken into consideration during privatization procedures.

Absence of the non-material assets in the balances of the state run companies contributes to their low capitalization and stimulates the activities of the foreign research centers in Russia. SUN Microsystems recently opened the third office in St.Petersburg, Intel doubled the size of its lab in Nizhniy Novgorod laboratory, Boeing and EADS are also actively working in Russia. Russian policy makers express concern that foreign companies uncontrollably benefit from the results of the R&D that had been created for years in Russia. In particular, at the recently held by Rosoboronexport meeting "Economic and information safety" the head of the Institute for National Strategy Stanislav Belkovsky said that the results of the Russian R&D go to the foreign competitors “practically free of charge”, first of all in to Boeing.

So far Russia has not completed creating the comprehensive legislation basis for organizing efficient protection of its rights in the sphere of intellectual property, according to the President of League of Assistance to Defense Enterprises Alexander Brindikov. However, there have been some positive and tangible achievements in this sphere already. At the initiative of Rosoboronexport and with its active participation Russia signed a number of international bilateral agreements on protecting intellectual property with Israel, Indonesia, India, Italy, Turkey, France, South Africa some CIS countries. Negotiations with a number of other countries are nearing the end, including China. An important precedent has been made by the Federal Service on Military-Technical Cooperation. This Service signed the agreement on license related legislation with Hungary. This created a precedent for discussing the problem of the Soviet designs pirated in East Europe in the new context.

Yuri Seleznyov