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RU is an abbreviation in this wiki referring to Russia.

There is an online Russian-to-English dictionary on Wikisource from 1945 and we can use URLs to link to the page on which a definition is found.[1] The Cyrillic names of Russian inventors and organizations present an added challenge to our data integration efforts, as phonetic transliterations differ according to the tongue and preferences of the transliterator.

Aero history

Военная аэронавтика - Б. Д. Потёмкин, that is, "Military Aviation" ; this work may be handy, in terms of history and perhaps in terms of historiography. This work, published in 1888, was sought in the interests of its being cited in connection with the early airplane of Alexandr Fedorovich Mozhaiskii. Comte Antoine Apraxine and others stand out prominently as well. Aside from touching upon a few early Russian aero-luminaries, the book begins with some references to key French, German and British journals. Then it goes over broad principles, aeronautics, or more properly it explores aerostatic systems, in great detail, and moves into aerodynamics. This may be a key theoretical overview analysis, from the Late 19th Century Russian point of view.

Russia commissioned an airship from Lebaudy Frères and received it in 1909.[2]

The country purchased a fair number of dirigibles and airplanes, and by 1914 had an air force of 263 aircraft. However it did not manufacture motors and fell behind other major powers in aircraft production during the war.[3]


Until 1917 the Russian legal acknowledgment of an invention was called Привилегіа, privilege. The government deliberately chose not to use the word patent, to avoid confusion with manufacturing licenses, and possibly for other philosophical/legal/social reasons.[4] The meaning of the privilege clearly changed from 1896 onward, with a 1906 law a significant turning point. The system changed somewhat in 1917 and among other things патент, patent, became the official name.

For the purpose of this project, however, we are using patent and privilege interchangeably to refer to these documents.

Patents were published in Svod Privilegii, some of which are available digitally from Hathitrust and more from the All-Russian Patent-Technical Library. We've also entered some from the 1909–1910 patent lists in Vozdukhoplavatel; these lists were actually compiled before granting, so not all of them were necessarily granted, and their page titles have the protection certificate numbers and not final numbers. (The risk of a title conflict is fortunately not too high because the protection certificate numbering doesn't appear to overlap with the final numbering for any given year.)

See also Russian patent office.


The Manifesto on Privileges for various Inventions and Discoveries in Crafts and Arts of 1812 created the privilege as a legal concept, and defining the process of applying to the Department of Manufactures and Internal Trade (initially part of the Ministry of Internal Affiars, then after 1819 of the Ministry of Finance. The Privilege Statute of 1833 expanded this law, providing for the application of supplementary patents, allowing for an inventor to sell his privileges, and making the novelty requirement more strict. After 1933 the rate of patents granted went from roughly 4 per year to 36 per year. Most of these dealt with agriculture and textiles.[5]

In 1845 patents for Russians lasted 10 years; for foreigners, only 1–6 years (at a cost of 200 roubles per annum). There were no supplements or extensions, and inventions had to be put into practice within six months.[6]

Throughout this period the issuing of a patent was at the state's discretion.[5]


In 1870 the State Council issued a decree titled On the Changes in Processing of Privileges for new Inventions and Discoveries. This law made the application for a privilege more of a formal process, and codified the status of the patent as the inventor's property. The Department of Trade and Manufactures handled manufacturing/industrial patents and the Department of Agriculture had responsibility for agricultural patents. "The privilege contained, besides the name of the holder and the date of application, the description of invention or improvement, the privilege term, a certification of the duty payment, a State certificate attesting the privilege holder’s right in the invention and a signature of the minister with the stamp of the department." Records were published in the Gazettes of Moscow, Saint Petersburg, and Warsaw.[7]

As of 1881, the The Russian Empire's Department of Trade and Manufactures (Департамента торговли и мануфактур) granted patents, based on one example.[8]



Pressure to modernize the system continued and the Russian Technical Society began working on revised legislation in 1879. Its commission delivered a report to the Ministry of Finances in 1893, recommending that Russia emulate Germany's system and extend the duration of the privilege years. The result was ultimately the Statute of invention and improvement privileges of 1896. This law created a dedicated patent office, the "Committee on Technical Affairs", within the Department of Trade and Manufactures—and a patent library.[9]

The system continued to evolve, with a 1906 law apparently leading to the issuing of provisional protection certificate and a serial number for filed patents. (We will use the "Serial number" field in the patent template for this first number.) After examination and other due procedure patents could then be granted and issued a final number. Classifications also came into use, first a smaller number of Groups with Roman numerals (Group V being relevant), changing circa 1910 to a German-like system with Класс 62b for aeronautics.

The information and regulations described in the sections below mainly applies to patents filed after 1896. (The vast majority of imperial Russian aero patents fall into this category.)

Information on a patent

Patents c. 1896–1917 typically have the following information:

  • Classification at top left
  • Final patent number at top right
  • Under ПРИВИЛЕГІЯ ("privilege", patent), the date granted (Julian, see below)
  • Under ОПИСАНІЕ ("description"), a short title (grammatically genitive, as in 'description of')
  • The inventor's name, preceded by status/occupation and spelled Latin as well as Cyrillic if appropriate
    • For foreign filers the status is (some grammatical variation of) иностранец
  • In the same line, inventors' location, filing date, and number of protection certificate (охранительныя свидѣтельства, abbreviated охр. св.)

The main structure of the patent is similar to that found at other offices, with claims (предмет, objectum) and illustrations at the end. The beginning of the claims section has a citation, which seems to be standard, of the relevant law of 1906, Article 198.

Filing regulations

The major law in effect at the beginning of the 20th century (up to the Revolution) was dated 20 May (=1 June Gregorian) 1896. The rules are described by Thompson, Handbook of Patent Law in All Countries (1915), pp. 199–203.

  • Patents last for 15 years, subject to annual fees; additions can be filed and they expire at the same time as the original, with no additional annual fees. (Or improvements to an invention can be filed as an independent patent, which will have its own 15-year duration.)
  • Patents must be filed by the true inventor or his representative.
  • Examination system: "Inventions are examined as regards novelty by experts and committees representatives [sic] of the various departments of state; against the decision of these an appeal can be had to a general meeting of the Technical Committee." Anything already patented, already well described in the literature of any country, or a minor modification of an existing well known invention, could not be patented. Chemical products, food, drinks, medicines, apparatus for making medicine, as well as anything dangerous to the state or public morals, could not be patented.
  • Patents were not granted if the technology—munitions, for example—would be 'useful' to government only. Other military technology could be patented with the caveat that the government automatically has the right to use them.
  • If a patent had already been filed in another country, it could still be filed by the inventor or his assign in Russia, as long as it had not yet been known in Russia. Such a patent would have its duration to the shortest term of international filing.[10]
    • German filings: "The production of a patent granted in Germany for the same invention will often expedite the examination, and Russians frequently apply for patents in Germany before applying in their own country."
  • Model: "Besides the usual drawings and specification, a model is required when in the opinion of the examiners the case requires such for the full understanding of the invention."
  • Patents must be shown to work within five years or they become void.
  • Submitted patents had provisional protection.
  • "Assignments of entire interest must be registered, and licenses or partial assignments are not recognized."


The Russian government used the Orthodox/Julian calendar until February 1918, when the Revolutionary government declared that February 1–13 would be skipped and the country synchronized with the Gregorian calendar. The Julian date was 12 days behind the Gregorian date throughout the 19th century, and 13 days behind after 13 March 1900 Gregorian (29 February 1900 Julian; the Gregorian system omits the leap year at the century, hence the increasing discrepancy). Here we note Julian filing dates but enter the Gregorian equivalent in the patent template so that dates will align properly across countries. When in doubt, Petko Yotov's website has a lightweight conversion chart.

See also


  2. The Aero, Vol. 1, 20 July 1909, p. 134. "The Lebaudy airship Russie has now been packed up and despatched to Russia, so that even that backward country is in front of England, as she possesses a really first-class dirigible."
  3. Bachler, 1996, p. 12.
  4. Gouzevitch and Gouzevitch, 2020, pp. 89–90.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Gouzevitch and Gouzevitch, 2020, pp. 91–95.
  6. Urling, 1845, p. 266.
  7. Gouzevitch and Gouzevitch, 2020, pp. 96–98.
  8. Mozhaisky's 1881 patent on Wikisource
  9. Gouzevitch and Gouzevitch, 2020, pp. 98–102.
  10. This limitation is described explicitly in the header of Patent RU-1911-25854, and attributed to 1906 Russian industrial law, 198/16.

Extended Patent Reports

This wiki has 55 Russian patents and 139 patents filed by Russians. This wiki has 5 Soviet patents and 1 patents filed by Soviets.

By grant year:

By filing year:

Patents filed in Russia

Patents filed by Russians

Patents filed in the Soviet Union

Patents filed by the Soviet Union