Kremlin Continues to Target Western Companies

“Maximum damage to bankrupt them,” Dmitry Medvedev says in newly released video.

A call for IP theft

Senior Kremlin officials are calling for the theft of intellectual property from companies that have withdrawn from Russia following its invasion of Ukraine. In a video posted online over the weekend, Deputy Chair of the Security Council of the Russian Federation Dmitry Medvedev delivered fiery remarks in a meeting with journalists, saying that Netflix and other companies should be denied legal protection in Russia. He called for their products to be stolen and “scattered all over the internet” in order to inflict “maximum damage to bankrupt them.” Medvedev previously served as President of Russia and Prime Minister. 

President Vladimir Putin’s Press Secretary agreed with Medvedev in remarks published by a Russian media outlet. Dmitry Peskov suggested that the companies were “pirates” and implied that the actions are a justified retaliation against Western sanctions.   

The statements are the latest in a series of steps targeting foreign firms. In April 2022, CNBC reported that Russian entrepreneurs had begun filing trademark applications to take over some of the world’s most iconic brands. In March 2022, the Kremlin signed a decree stating that patents from companies based in “unfriendly” nations could be used freely in Russia without any repercussions. 

In May 2022, the Russian Ministry of Industry and Trade put into force an order allowing imports of foreign goods without the authorization of patent holders. The decree listed products—ranging from electronics and auto parts to cosmetics and agricultural equipment—that could be marketed and sold in Russia without the companies’ consent. 

The comments over the weekend indicate growing frustration on the part of the Kremlin. With the elimination of legal repercussions, intellectual property theft may become increasingly blatant. Russian actors are likely to become more aggressive in targeting companies or former employees who remain in Russia, to illegally acquire and transfer intellectual property. 

Strider English Translation of Dmitry Medvedev’s Video Remarks: 

You know what, look for the right pirates and download from them. 

Now, earlier, as a lawyer, I had a negative attitude towards this, I speak with absolute sincerity when I say that I believed that it was better to overpay at that moment when others said: “What are you paying for? It is everywhere, on torrent trackers, and so on, but now, I relate to this, according to the principle: “That's what they wanted and got”. And fine, therefore, don’t let them get money. 

We have recently, now finishing the topic, specifically discussed that they should be deprived of some of their non-property rights, in legal language, which they collect here. 

Now, if they left us, all kinds of “Netflixes”, and there are others, right? So, we will download everything, and we will use it for free. 

And I would also scatter it all over the internet to cause them maximum damage, maximum damage! To bankrupt them. 

Strider Transcript of Dmitry Medvedev’s Video Remarks: 

Вы знаете что, ищите правильных пиратов и скачивайте у них.  
Вот если раньше, я как юрист, относился к этому отрицательно , абсолютно искренне говорю,  
и считал, что лучше переплатить в тот момент, когда другие говорят: «Че ты платишь то,  
Это везде есть там, на торрент трекерах там, и так далее, то сейчас, я к этому отношусь , по принципу: « Вот что хотели то и получили»,  
И пусть они, значит, не добирают деньги .  
Мы это недавно, теперь уже завершая тему,  
Обсуждали специально, что их нужно лишить части неимущественных прав, выражаясь юридическим языком, которые они собирают здесь.  
Вот если она ушли от нас, всякие нетфликсы, там и прочие, да? Значит будем все это скачивать, будем пользоваться бесплатно.  
А я бы еще это все по сети разбрасывал, для того чтобы причинить им максимальный урон,  
Максимальный урон! 
Чтоб они обанкротились. 

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