Appellation of origin is an intellectual property object which is protected by virtue of state registration with Federal Service for Intellectual Property, patents and trademarks (ROSPATENT).
According to article 1516 of Russian Civil Code, appellation of origin protected on the territory of the Russian Federation is a designation that contains contemporary or historical, formal or informal, full or abbreviated name of country, settlement, or another geographic object as well as a designation derived from this name and became known as a result of its use in relation to goods having special features exclusively or mainly determined by natural conditions and (or) human factors, typical of this geographic location
A right to use registered appellation of origin can be granted to anyone who within boundaries of the geographic object manufactures goods corresponding to special features established by registration of the appellation of origin.
In order to obtain the right to use of appellation of origin a person must submit to ROSPATENT an expert opinion confirming that within boundaries of the geographic object this person manufactures goods possessing special features established by registration of the appellation of origin. Such expert opinion is issued by competent body defined according to the Decision of the Government of the Russian Federation dated from 17 September 2004 No. 481 “On federal executive bodies authorized to issue expert opinion attached to the application for state registration of appellation of origin and granting of exclusive right to it as well as to the application for granting of exclusive right to appellation of origin”
Appellation of origin “Russian vodka”
“Russian vodka” is the most famous Russian appellation of origin. It is a Russian traditional alcoholic beverage and its special features are closely connected with traditions and natural conditions of the Russian Federation. In 2003 designation “Russian vodka” obtained legal protection in the Russian Federation as an appellation of origin. The presence and maintenance of special features in finished product is guaranteed only as long as the whole production process, including bottling, is effected on the territory of the Russian Federation.
FKP “Sojuzplodoimport” was the first to obtain “Russian vodka” appellation of origin certificate No.0065/01 . Currently 19 Russian manufactures of vodka are holders of such certificates, which grants them the right to use appellation of origin “Russian vodka”.
Being holder of widely known alcoholic brands, FKP “Sojuzplodoimport” takes an active part in highly competitive alcohol market. Such brands of vodka as “Stolichnaya”, “Moskovskaya”, “Russkaya”, “Sibirskaya”, etc containing “Russian vodka” designation become associated with Russia and recognized as a benchmark for traditional Russian vodka, and it is necessary to maintain its high quality.
The issues relating to protection of “Russian vodka” designation are of the highest importance because it is national heritage of the Russian Federation and generates significant government revenue.
In order to protect “Russian vodka” designation abroad and in particular, in the European Union, Association of Russian vodka manufacturers was created. Members of this Association are the most powerful participants of alcohol market who have exclusive right to use “Russian vodka” appellation of origin (Moscow Distillery “Cristall”, FKP “Sojuzplodoimport”, “Russian Standard Vodka”, “Beluga Group”, “Bryanskspirtprom Ltd”). All the activity of the Association in Russia and abroad is effected in cooperation with government authorities (Federal service for alcohol market regulation, Ministry of agriculture, Rospatent, Ministry of foreign affairs). Creation of the Association enabled to file to European Commission an application for registration of geographic indication “Russian vodka”.
FKP “Sojuzplodoimport” acquires and maintains rights to appellation of origin “Russian vodka” in foreign countries in order to provide extra protection to its alcoholic brands.
Application for registration of certification mark “Russian vodka” is currently being examined in In the United States Patent and Trademark Office, which is equal to appellation of origin “Russian vodka” protected on the territory of the Russian Federation.
FKP “Sojuzplodoimprt” successfully registered appellation of origin (geographical indication) “Russian vodka” in Belarus, Kazakhstan, Ukraine, and currently another application for registration is being examined in Vietnamese Patent and Trademark Office.
Registration of appellation of origin (geographical indication) “Russian vodka” abroad ensures extra protection to trademarks of FKP “Sojuzplodoimprt”, fight against counterfeit goods falsely bearing designation “Russian vodka” and enables consumers to enjoy genuine Russian vodka made from natural ingredients in Russia in accordance with traditional recipe.