The members of Russian Senate proposed new IP object – geographical indication

The members of Russian Senate have proposed for consideration a new draft law providing new intellectual property object – geographical indication. The draft law is currently considered. Explanation note states that it protection of geographical indication is necessary in Russia.

The draft law prohibits trademark registration in relation to any good, if such mark is similar to geographical indication protected by Russian civil code. The draft law also provides definition of geographical indication.

Geographical indication under draft law is a sign, protected by law, enabling to identify the good as originating from territory of geographical object, taking into account that certain quality, reputation and other good’s features significantly defined by its geographical origin. At least one of the production phases, affecting formation of quality, reputation and other features of such good, must be undertaken in geographical object.

The place of good’s origin is a sign constituting modern or historical, official or non-official, full or abbreviated name of country, town, village, place or other geographical object, containing that name or its derivatives and famed thanks to its exploitation in relation to good, which special features exclusive or significantly defined by natural conditions and/or human factors, specific for a particular geographical object. On the territory of this geographical object should be carried out all stages of production of good, affecting the formation of its special properties.

Special requirements to stages of production, quality, reputation, fame, special features or other characteristics of good can be set out in federal laws or other legal acts, including legal acts in territories where the good is produced. The general sign indicating a good of certain kind is not to be protected as geographical indication or the name of place of origin.

The sign registered as the place of origin can’t be registered as geographical indication and vice versa. The registration of sign as a geographical indication, allowing identification of good as originating from place outside of Russia, is permissible if such sing is protected as geographical indication or other means of individualization in the country of good’s origin. The same applies to the place of origin.

The draft law also provides exclusive rights in relation to geographical indication. The exclusive right allows the right holder to place geographical indication on good, label, packaging and internet. The geographical indication is protected as long as there is opportunity to produce the good. The draft law requires for registration of each certain geographical indication a separate application. Among other thing the application for registration of geographical indication must contain:

  • indication of good;
  • the place of origin (production) of good (the borders of geographical object);
  • the information concerning relation between certain quality, reputation or other good’s features and the place of origin (production) of good;
  • description of origin (production) of good and storage and transportation conditions;
  • procedure for execution of control over production of good;
  • the persons, who has the right to exploit a geographical indication.

In order to register the name of place of origin, the applicant must substantiate that specific features of good exclusively or substantially are formed by the natural conditions and/or human factors inherent to such place of origin. The description of good’s features, including indication of raw material and basic properties of good, must also accompany the application for registration. If the geographical object, as place of origin, is located in Russia, the application must be sanctioned by relevant authority. The application for registration of geographical indication can be transformed into application for registration of the place of origin and vice versa.

Application for registration of geographical indication is to be the subject of assessment. In the course of such assessment the relevant authority can require the applicant to provide additional information or materials. The application for registration of geographical indication can be withdrawn at any stage of its consideration. The term of exclusive right in geographical indication is 10 years from the moment of application.