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Brand protection in Russia

What is the trademark: basic aspects of brand protection in Russia

What is the trademark in Russia?
According to the Russian Civil Code, any symbol that is aimed to individualization of the merchant's goods can be registered as the trademark. Russian legislation does not limit the types of the trademarks that can be registered by Russian Patent Office: any word, emblem, original shape of the product or even smell can be registered as a trademark. The goal of the trademark is to protect the original brand of a company or a person. That is why Russian legislation does not restrict the opportunities of merchants in protecting their brands against unfair competition or illegal copying.
We like and can elaborate the strategies of brand protection. We are the company with a lot of experience in launching both small projects and global holding brands where the registration of more than 200 trademarks was required. We will be happy if our experience will be useful for you and we can help you!
Tell us about your brand!
We will help you to protect it in the best way
01
Who can be the owner of the trademark in Russia?
Unlike in some European or American countries, in Russia only persons who are registered as entrepreneurs can be the owners of the trademarks (legal entities or sole traders). However, it does not mean that you cannot apply to the Russian Patent Office if you are not formally in a register of entrepreneurs.
If the national legislation of your jurisdiction allows you to conduct business without any formal registration procedures, you can still apply for the registration of the trademark. In this case, you will have to provide the Patent Office with the evidence that your are a merchant in your home country.
What are the requirements the trademark should meet in order to be registered?
In order to register a trademark, the applicant should show that the registered symbol has distinctiveness, and therefore can identify the goods of its owner (make them unique among merchandise of other manufacturers and traders). The trademark should not be in a descriptive or narrative format: for example, the color of the product cannot be registered as a trademark in most cases because it is only one of the characteristics of the item.

Moreover, the trademark that an applicant would like to register should not be identical to the trademarks that has already been registered by the Patent Office. If the Patent Office finds that your symbol resembles another trademark, it will send a notification to you about that, and you will have to prepare the argument stating that the marks are not the same.
02
Are there any additional grounds that prevent trademark registration?
Yes, there are a number of additional grounds under which the Patent Office of Russia will not probably register your trademark. The most noticeable of them are the following:
The trademark is misleading (i.e. mislead the customer as to the product or its source)


The trademark contradicts the principles of morality and the interests of society.
The trademark is identical to the title of the literature work, and the trademark owner does not have consent of the right holder.
The trademark is identical to the name, pseudonym, or image of a person that is deemed famous in Russia, and the trademark owner does not have consent of this person or his heirs.
03
What is the trademark registration procedure?
1
The application
In order to register a trademark, a person should file an application to Russian Patent Office (Rospatent). The application may be filed by an applicant by a representative (patent agent or other representative that acts on the basis of the power of attorney).
2
Image and description
The application shall contain the image of the trademark that the applicant wants to register, the description of the registered trademark, and the description of the goods that will be identified by the registered trademark (including the list of Nice Classes).
3
Publication in Rospatent
After the application is filed, Rospatent publishes the application in the Register of trademark applications, and everyone can get acquainted with the documents of the application. The purpose of the publication is to allow every interested person to file an appeal regarding the probable registration of the trademark.
What is the trademark registration procedure?
Afterwards, the application is under two examinations conducted by Rospatent: formal examination and the examination of the registered trademark (substantive examination).
Formal examination
During the formal examination (which lasts about 1 month after filing an application) Rospatent verifies whether the application contains all the necessary documents and whether these documents meet the formal requirements. If the application does not contradict any formal requirements, Rospatent makes the decision of receiving the application.
Substantive examination
During substantive examination Rospatent makes assessment of the trademark filed for registration. The purpose of this examination is to verify whether the trademark has distinctiveness, whether it is identical to other trademarks registered by Rospatent, and whether any other grounds to refuse registration of the trademark exist. If there are no grounds to refuse registration, Rospatent makes the decision on the registration of the trademark and issues the certificate of the registration.
04
Brand protection: why?
The risks of the lack of effective brand protection and the advantages of its elaboration.
The risks of the lack of brand protection
  • The emergence of competitors-imitators which copy the elements of the brand;
  • Financial losses: transfer of the clients to bad-faith competitors, damages resulted in suspension of sales;
  • The loss of uniqueness of the brand in the market, its blurring among similar brands на рынке, and the loss of competitive advantages;
  • The registration of the trademark by another person (competitor or "patent troll").
The advantages of complex brand protection system
  • The struggle with bad-faith competitors: the trademark owner can prohibit using the similar name of the brand or its design;
  • Collection of compensation from breakers – up to 5 mln rubles (75 000 USD) for each trademark infringed;
  • Prevention of brand blurring by using legal tools;
  • Opportunities for tax optimization;
  • The legal basis for franchising;
  • The increase in company capitalization: the assessment of the trademark.
05
Action plan
The stages of brand protection project.
1
The application
Determine what you would like to protect.
Ask us for legal assistance. We will assess the possibilities of your brand protection, conduct patent search, and present the concept of brand protection to you.
2
Request processing
Together we will decide what elements are the most essential for protection and what Nice Classes of the goods should the trademark cover; besides, we can make the design of your trademarks.
3
Sending request
We will prepare all the documents and file the applications within two days after the trademarks are agreed with you.
4
You brand is protected!
During the whole registration procedure we will monitor the status of your application, conduct all the communication with Rospatent, answer to the notifications of Rospatent, control fess payments, notify you of all the changes, and receive the certificate for registration.
06
Why choosing us?
Our experience and work approach.
We assess the assignment from various perspectives
The system of brand protection requires complex approach; that is why we are trying to protect not only the trademarks the client asked to register, but also other essential identifiers of the client's brand that may be affected by the actions of bad-faith competitors.
We apply the individual approach
We are sure that each project is unique and demands the individual strategy of building the brand protection system. In each case we will assess the strong and weak points of your brand protection and will offer the best solutions that will suit your personal needs.
We lead the project from the beginning till its completion
during the whole brand protection project the team of our lawyers, marketers, financiers, and designers will bear responsibility for the future of filed trademarks. Our legal team will check the status of the filed applications regularly, answer the notifications from Rospatent, and file appeals against the decisions of Rospatent to refuse registration of trademarks.
We make the calculation of all costs in advance
Our company makes prior assessment of all the fees necessary to register the trademark and calculates remuneration for provided services. You will not have to think about expenses that may occur unexpectedely.
Our clients