Trademark Office adopts last IP law before change of status

Russian Federation

The Russian Trademark Office (TO) has lost its status as an independent federal governmental body following a recent federal government reform. Presidential Act 314 converted the TO into the Federal Service for Intellectual Property, Patents and Trademarks within the Russian Federation Ministry of Education and Science. Consequently, the TO may no longer adopt laws relating to intellectual property.

One of the TO's last acts before its change of status was to amend the Regulations on Well-Known Mark Declaration to comply with the Trademark Law adopted in December 2002.

The regulations now provide that, in addition to registered trademarks, any distinguishing sign that has been intensively used and has become well known in Russia may be declared a well-known mark. The owner of a well-known mark may enforce its rights against identical or confusingly similar marks on goods and services other than those for which the well-known mark is registered, provided that the identical or confusingly similar mark misleads consumers into associating the third party's mark with the well-known mark.

Under the amended regulations, evidence of intensive use of a mark worldwide and in Russia in particular has to be provided when filing for a Declaration of Well-Known Mark. If the trademark was registered in Russia before its well-known mark status was obtained, the well-known mark status will be recorded on both the Russian Trademark Register and the Well-Known Mark Register. Where well-known mark status is partially or fully cancelled, the relevant information will also be entered on both registers.

In related news, B Simonov of the Ministry of Industry, Science and Technology will replace A Korchaguin as director of the TO. Korchaguin had been in charge of the TO for nearly 10 years.

Oxana Pishvanova, Gowlings International Inc, Moscow

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