Geographical Indications
20 September 2022

RUSSIA: Geographical Indications – one year on


Ekaterina Shekhtman, INCO ltd., Novosibirsk, Russia

INTA Bulletins – Europe Subcommittee

Maria Usova, INCO ltd., Novosibirsk, Russia

Verifier: Natalia Nikolaeva, Law Firm Gorodissky & Partners, Novosibirsk, Russia

One year has passed since the amendment to the Russian Civil Code came into force. On July 27, 2020 a new IP subject-matter was introduced into Russian legislation – Geographical indications (GI). Russia has already had Appellations of origin as the protected object of individualization of goods originated from a particular territory. Now GI and Appellations of origin coexist in Russian practice. The reason for creation GI was a low level of registration of regional brands as well as the difficulties that foreign applicants meet in the process of getting Appellation of origin registrations in Russia.

After the amendment became effective applicants may choose what kind of objects they want to register and what kind of rights they want to acquire. The term of protection of both objects is unlimited, while the term of right to use – is 10 years and can be extended unlimited number of times. However, there are some substantive practical differences between these two objects and their registration procedures.

In contrast to Appellation of origin, GI could be not only a word, but also a sign associated with the special features of the goods. It could be referred, at least, to one essential step of production of the goods in the region, not obviously to the whole process. Criteria of GI can be not only product features but also reputation of quality. GI doesn’t have to be known, the identification of the goods is sufficient. In order to register GI, a report of the professional association of producers in the same field as GI or any other documents that proof the special characteristics of goods could be presented instead of the official report of the regional competent authority empowered by the Government of Russia.  

For a year of this option there are some highlights and statistical information. By the end of October 2021 more than 81 applications for GI were filed with Rospatent. 14 applications have obtained the registrations. There are few foreign applications and just one registration among them. National artistic trades are leader among goods for which protection is claimed as GI (e.g. Aginskoye national costume, Troitsky wrap); it is followed by foodstuff and alcohol (e.g. Matsesta tea, Korean Red Ginseng).

However, we believe that GI as a new instrument will become more popular for Russian applicants as far as the procedure will become clear for foreign companies also and the number of applications will increase.  


Latest publications