Appellations of origin of goods (AOs) and geographical indications (GIs) are two similar forms of intellectual property rights protected in Russia. Both IP rights allow the rights holders to obtain protection for a product, the characteristics of which are associated with some geographic object (a country, a region, a locality, a mountain, a river, etc.). Informally, the two IP rights are united under the notion of “regional brands.”
For quite a long time, only one type of regional brand – the appellation of origin of goods – has existed in Russia. However, due to very strict legal requirements for registration of appellations of origin, the number of AOs registered in Russia was not high: the average annual registrations for nearly three decades preceding the year 2020 did not exceed 10.
Some foreign producers were unable to register in Russia their region-related brands that were protected in their countries because the requirements for registration in their countries were not strict enough for the brands to be eligible for Russian AOs.
In order to help regional producers promote their local brands and develop a positive image of the country’s regions, in 2019 Russian lawmakers approved requirements for registration of a new means of individualization – geographical indications. The law came into force on July 27, 2020.
For the registration of geographical indications, the legislation establishes less stringent conditions than those that apply to AOs. At the same time, both means of individualization enjoy the same privileges in terms of their legal protection.
Our attorneys are ready to explain the specific features of the two IP rights and to assist in protecting your interests in administrative bodies and courts.