Russia Introduces GI Protection

Sep 3 2019 - 15:38

The Russian law introducing geographical indications, which passed its first reading in July 2018, was recently signed by the Russian President and officially published on July 26, 2019. It will enter into force one year after publication, on July 27, 2020, except for the provision regarding liability for illegal use of a GI symbol alongside an unregistered GI. This provision will come into effect on July 27, 2024.

It is already possible to register geographically related signs and names in Russia as appellations of origin. Protection for AOs in Russia will continue to exist, but introducing GI protection is expected to make obtaining geographically related signs simpler and faster for both foreign and domestic producers.

The new law defines the GI as “a sign identifying a product that originates from a definite geographical territory, with a certain quality, reputation or other characteristics which are essentially attributed to its geographical origin.” Below is a brief comparison of AO and GI rights as defined in the Russian legislation:

Appellation of origin Geographical indication
A word sign only; historical or modern, official or unofficial, full or short name of a country, urban or rural settlement, location or other geographical term, which become known as a result of its use on a product; A word or composite sign, which links a product with a specific geographical location;
All product stages should take place in the specified geographical location; At least one stage of production, which substantially influences the quality, reputation or characteristics of the product, should take place on the territory in question;
An official document issued by a regulator confirming that the applicant manufactures the product on the specified geographical area is needed. An official document issued by a regulator confirming that the applicant manufactures the product (fully or in at least one stage) on the territory is needed.

A foreign applicant can successfully obtain GI protection in Russia if the GI is protected in the applicant’s own country and if it meets Russian legislative requirements in this field (i.e. it is not regarded as a common, generic term; it does not mislead or deceive the consumers, etc.).

An application should contain:

  • Applicant’s data;
  • GI sign;
  • Product description;
  • Indication of a specific geographical territory;
  • Description of specific product characteristics, linked with its geographical origin and the method of manufacturing, storing and shipping, if relevant;
  • List of measures aimed at preserving and controlling the specific characteristics linked to product’s territory;
  • List of persons who have the right to use the GI;
  • Document confirming that the applicant manufactures the product on the territory (for Russian applicants);
  • Document confirming that the applicant has GI protection in their own country (for foreign applicants).

A registered GI will be valid for 10 years from the filing date and can be extended for an unlimited number of additional 10-year periods provided that, upon renewal, Russian rights holders submit a document confirming that they still manufacture the product, or, in the case of foreign rights holders, that they still have GI protection in their own country.

By: Tatyana Kulikova

For more information, please contact Tatyana Kulikova at our Russia office.

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