It has been some time from the first mention of geographical indications within the framework of the Agreement on Eurasian Economic Union in 2014 (after Russia joined the WTO), resulting in the adoption of an amendment to Russian Civil Code introducing a new IP right in 2019. Now the right for geographical indication is very close to become a new reality in Russia.
The Russian authorities call geographical indications “regional brands” and expect massive registrations of geographical indications by local producers. This is expected to be beneficial for economic growth in Russia.
As reported by the press during 2017-2018 the Russian authorities’ representatives were readily meeting with WIPO and taking active steps towards the joining of the Geneva Act of the Lisbon Agreement on Appellations of Origin and Geographical Indications. In order to join the Lisbon system Russian law will need to be harmonized with the provisions of the Geneva Act, which likely was done by the amendments including geographical indications as a new IP right in Russia.
Currently, there are 29 contracting States to the Lisbon system (Lisbon Agreement and Stockholm Act), while the Geneva Act has not yet entered into force (it was signed by 15 and accessed by 3 countries since its adoption in May 2015).
Shall we soon hear of Russia as a new signatory to the Geneva Act and who will be the main winners of protection? Russian geographical indications and appellations of origin enjoying grant of protection under the Lisbon system outside Russia, or geographical indications and appellations of origin of foreign members of the Lisbon system entering the Russian market?