A draft law aiming to introduce a new type of intellectual property right into the Russian Civil Code – geographical indications – passed the first reading in July 2018 and is currently undergoing amendments in preparation for its second reading.

Although it has been possible to register geographically related signs and names in Russia as appellations of origin, Russia has a complicated registration procedure and strict eligibility requirements, including the necessity to obtain approvals from state authorities competent in relevant industries. Protection for AOs in Russia will continue to exist but introducing GI protection is expected to make obtaining geographically related signs simpler and faster for both foreign and domestic producers. The draft also foresees enabling the conversion of GIs into AOs and vice versa provided certain requirements are met.

The proposed amendments to the Russian Civil Code are in line with the international legislation in this field, namely the Lisbon Agreement for the Protection of Appellations of Origin and their International Registration.