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It was proposed to register traditional Russian patterns as trademarks

Russian Association uniting participants of art-industry marketplace (AURA) and National union of folk art-craft (NSHP) have proposed to Russian ministry of trade (MinTorg) to register graphical elements, typical to Russian folk craft, as trademarks. These two professional organisations along with MinTorg consider and discuss opportunity to protect traditional Russian pattern in Russian marketplace.

Professional organisations believe such measure could protect Russian market from counterfeited products originating from Turkey and China. If such proposal will be implemented the manufacturers and producers, exploiting graphical elements of traditional Russian patterns, will be obliged to pay royalties. The holder of rights in registered trademarks would be Russian MinTorg, i.e. Russian Federation.

Currently separate names “Gzhel”, “Khokhloma”, “Zhostovo” are registered as protected designation of origin (“the name of place of origin of good” in Russian). But such registration is not effective in fight with counterfeited goods. Registration will give legal justification to prosecute or to state a claim to person who illegally produces or manufactures goods (containing graphical elements of traditional Russian patterns). With registration in hands the right holders or licensors could require Russian custom authorities to seizure counterfeited goods or goods similar to confusion with legal “original”.

AURA and NSHP believe the revenue generated by licensing of trademarks is estimated up to 500 million in a year. Currently traditional Russian patterns belong to nobody and are not protected. Someone download patterns form internet, someone just hire designers. Thus “the meaning and features” of craft are “blurred in awareness of consumers”. AURA and NSHP want to change current situation.