I’ve today read in Slodoban Petsevic’s newletter the following story:
There are about 100 million Kalashnikov assault rifles worldwide, of which half are counterfeit, i.e. produced without licenses, patents and intergovernmental agreements. As a result of counterfeit productions across the world, the brand has been tarnished and Russia has incurred financial losses. Russia is negotiating draft agreements with foreign producers of the weapon to protect the Kalashnikov, noting that China and a few Eastern European countries are prepared to negotiate such agreements.
During the Soviet era, Moscow signed 25-year license agreements with various communist satellites in Eastern Europe, authorizing them to produce Kalashnikovs. However, these agreements have expired.
Russian weapons manufacturer Izhmash, which produces the Kalashnikov, secured a state patent for this weapon in year 1997 and began pressing foreign manufacturers to respect its intellectual property.
Secured a patent? For something which has been around for 25 years? I thought Russia was part of the GATT and had endorsed patent principles accepted allover the world (a patent can be issued to an invention which is new, i.e never disclosed before anywhere in the world) , but evidently I was wrong….