In the modern world, new technologies constantly evolve and information seems endless. Thus, it is essential to regulate protection of copyright and rights to the results of intellectual activity in the context of science and technology. 

Valentina Sinelnikova, specialist on intellectual property and new varieties, professor of Moscow Higher School of Economics, Doctor of Law, speaks about the notion of intellectual property, why and how it should be protected. 

On what the intellectual property is 

Our interlocutress explains, that “All the things that people create are the result of creative activity. However, such things are often considered as functional items, not the ideas actualised. The value of intellectual property is in the innovativeness of the achievement. The most important part here is the creative one”.

Thus, intellectual property is the author’s right to the result of their creative activity. 


Taken at the legislative level, intellectual property is in close connection with rights in rem. The point is, the result of intellectual or creative activity is material, as there appears the necessity of consuming it, e.g. poems published in a book. 

In modern times, scientific and technological advances, on the one hand, made people’s lives easier, and on the other hand, became the basis of legislation in the sphere of intellectual property protection. Valentina says, that “new technologies allow people copy results of creative activity, without author’s notice, for the purposes of profit. In order to achieve author’s labour being fairly evaluated, it is important to protect one’s intellectual property”. 

On the protection of intellectual property 

Valentina Sinelnikova shared the most effective ways of protecting the results of intellectual and creative activity from plagiarism. Thus, one of the most complex and expensive, but reliable methods is patenting. Our interlocutress says, that “such method requires much time. To get a patent, one has to undergo an expertise proving the original and one-of-a-kind character of the object”. 


Another way of eliminating plagiarism is secret of making. According to Valentina, “Nearly 70% of goods are now in trade as know-how. They are not patented or registered, but are considered one-of-a-kind and are profitable while the technologies used to produce them are secret. One of the brightest examples here is Coca-Cola Company, which keeps the recipe of its main product in secret for many years”. 

One more way of registering the result is deposition. For example, a breeder developed a new variety of some plant. In such a case, it is important to save a certain amount of its seeds as standard. To achieve it, they are put under special conditions of long-term storage, such as gene pool. That would be the traditional way of deposition. Alongside with that, new technologies gave way to new approaches of registering such achievements including biological ones, so that the standard remains unchangeable. 

On selection 

Valentina Sinelnikova’s doctoral thesis is on selection. She told us that “During the 90es, new varieties were considered technical solutions, as there was no law qualifying them as independent results of intellectual activity. A group of authors, including me argued the need for such a law. Thus, the legislation considered our initiative. In 1993, the Russian Law on Selection Achievements came into force. It became the basis of article 73 of Part Four of Russian Civil Code, which is dedicated to new varieties”. 

Valentina’s range of professional interests has widened. She now works with other aspects of wildlife. She continues by telling us: “In my works I suggest introducing a new article of Russian Civil Code, which should regulate legal regime of biological objects, developed as a result of intellectual activity within wildlife aspects, such as strains of microorganisms, human tissues and cells. Not only doctors and biologists, but also lawyers work with such topics. Thus, last year the Federal Act on Biomedical Cellular Products was enacted. It is connected to a brand new direction, which is the development of medication using human tissue and cells”. Valentina Sinelnikova is sure that this is the beginning of a new medical epoch. Thus, it must have appropriately developed legal framework. 


On legislation 

According to Valentina, in our times, legislation in the sphere of intellectual property develops vibrantly. She said that “The amount of information on innovations is comparable to an avalanche. Thus, we should have both, its processing and protection of rights to innovations. The legislation always lags behind social development, as legal norms are formed based on needs”. That is why the legislation now must meet the social challenges: enhance the protection of intellectual rights, enact anti-piracy laws, and create a legal system that will not only eliminate patent wars, but also gaps in legislation, which are used by some people to destabilise the market. 

On women’s role in jurisprudence 

According to our interlocutress, many women-lawyers work within family and civil law. Such interest towards civilised spheres is natural, as women are primarily procreators, protectors of the domestic hearth, peacemakers and harmony keepers of our world. She says that “Besides, men are objective and purely professional concerning the work they do. Women, in turn, often consider psychological aspects. They sincerely empathise and try to help”. 

Moreover, Themis is a woman not by chance. Valentina Sinelnikova thinks that “her eyes are closed, as her heart tells her who is standing in front of her. Such information helps her make the right choices. It has nothing to do with appearance and mimics”. 

Viktoria Yezhova, news agency of the Eurasian Women’s Community

Translated by Nikolay Boykov