The impact of covid-19 on the trademark community in Russia
On 20 March the Russian Patent and Trademark Office (Rospatent) closed due to lockdown measures as a result of the covid-19 pandemic. Nevertheless, rights holders could still use the office’s online services. Even though Rospatent has since reopened, applicants are continuing to engage with its online platform.
Head of Rospatent Grigorij Ivliev confirmed in an online briefing at the end of April that the level of filing applications to register trademarks remained fairly high during lockdown and that there had been an increase in the number of applications to register inventions, utility models and trademarks.
Further, Rospatent received a large number of applications to register covid-19-related designations. Specialists at Rospatent noted that from the beginning of the year until mid-May, Rospatent received applications to grant legal protection to designations such as ‘Коронавирус’, COVID-19, CORONAVIRUS, COVIDATE, COVIDASY, COVIDATAZ, COVIDATEX, COVIDATEN, COVIDATENZ, ANTICOVID, ‘Шах и мат коронавирус’ and ‘Самоизоляция’, among others. However, it is likely that only a few of the above designations will be able to obtain legal protection due to their low distinctiveness and the high probability of misleading consumers.
In addition, it is worth noting the active work of the state authorities to improve the legislation in the IP field, especially with regard to trademarks. In July, President Vladimir Putin signed a law, which will allow applicants to file for the registration of 3-D models of objects and obtain the electronic protection documents that are equivalent to the traditional certificates and patents.
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