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This article covers the evolution of the law relating to inventions in the Soviet Union and its successor State, the Russian Federation. First, I sketch the law relating to industrial property, concentrating on inventions, as it stood until 1991, when Marxist principles were reflected in State ownership of all industrial property. Then I turn to the economic situation and the state of technological development in the USSR from 1970 to 1991, which ultimately led to a period of transition to market economics. During that period reform of the law reflected the struggles between socialist principles and private property interests. I will end by describing the new patent law (which includes protection for industrial designs) now in force in the Russian Federation, which confirms the ascendancy of private ownership over State control of industrial property in the successor state to the USSR.