A trademark is defined in the Russian Civil Code as a designation, which individualizes the goods/services of one legal entity or individual entrepreneur to another.

The idea itself gives the Russian Trademark Law a very open view on what can be registered as a ‘trademark’.

The Civil Code in Art.1482 further sets out that words, images, 3D, and “other indications” or combinations thereof can all be registered as trademarks. A trademark may be registered in any colour or in any colour-combination. The ‘other indications’ wording in the Civil Code further highlights this openness as to what is a trademark in Russia. 

The issue is distinctiveness. All marks, however non-traditional, must be seen as distinctive, even if this is acquired distinctiveness – distinctiveness incurred in Russia before the application. 

Accepted non-traditional marks in Russia are some of the widest of any jurisdiction – i.e. sound marks, texture marks, position marks, hologram marks, motion marks, etc. 

Rospatent (the Russian Trademark Office) should still be seen as open on accepting non-traditional trademarks. It’s now up to clients to decide what a trademark for them will be. 

However, clients must consider that even if they may get them registered, enforcement of non-traditional trademarks may still be an issue.