As of July 27, 2020, geographical indications in Russia will be protected.
This is due to Federal Law № 230-FZ of July 26, 2019 coming into force. Registration will be done by submitting an application for state registration to the Federal Intellectual Property Office (Rospatent).
The term ‘geographical indication’ includes two objects of intellectual property, namely a designation of origin and a geographical indication. Unlike the EU, in Russia only geographical indications of origin have been protected so far. The key difference between the two lays in the way they are registered. For a geographical indication, it is sufficient for the applicant to demonstrate that at least one important stage in the production process of the product takes place at a specific geographical location. However, for the appellation of origin it is necessary to perform all stages in one specific geographical area.
Upon registration of a designation of origin, the applicant must submit a report of a competent authority or organization confirming compliance with the requirements for the manufacture of the product. There is no such requirement when registering a geographical indication.
Furthermore, not only the geographical names of Russian products can be registered as geographical indications, but also those of products protected abroad. There are different types of goods whose geographical names can be registered as geographical indications, such as mineral resources, food, beverages, alcoholic beverages, crafts and more.
The term of protection of geographical indications will be 10 years. It can be renewed unlimited number of times for each subsequent period of 10 years. The right holder must present a document confirming that he is still producing the product for a Russian geographical indication or for a foreign geographical indication protected outside Russia.
Both domestic and foreign producers are expected to benefit from the new geographical indications regime. This right will help preventing third parties who are not holders of such a geographical indication from using it in respect of homogeneous goods.