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Author
Olga Plyasunova

Trademark attorney

17 July 2020

How to apply for a designation of origin

The current stage of economic development of the society is characterized by fierce competition, partly due to the growth in the number of entrepreneurs. The main methods of competition are price and non-price competitions. The latter include actions to obtain a competitive advantage without using various changes in the value of a product or service. Non-price methods of competition are: improving product quality, improving design, adding new product properties, developing a corporate identity, etc.

It is possible to distinguish your product in a number of similar products and significantly increase the volume of sales using the designation of origin. The effectiveness of using this means of individualization is confirmed by an active state policy in the framework of promoting and popularizing regional brands. The main feature of these designations is to attract consumer attention to the geography of the place of manufacture of goods and services. Thus, buyers get the opportunity to purchase products that have special properties and qualities that are due to the traditions of Russian manufacturers.

The right to use designation of origin registered by the manufacturer allows, on the one hand, to emphasize the uniqueness of the product, its quality, properties and gain advantage in its promotion, and on the other hand, to protect the manufacturer from unfair competition, which is significant, state-guaranteed, support for entrepreneurship.The legal definition of the designation of origin as an object of intellectual property is contained in part 1 of article 1516 of the Civil Code of the Russian Federation: “... a designation representing or containing a modern or historical, official or unofficial, full or abbreviated name of a country, urban or rural settlement, locality or other geographical object, as well as a designation derived from such a name and made known as a result of its use in relation to the goods ..."

You can apply for registration of  the designation of origin by yourself or using the services of a patent attorney, whose skilled work will significantly save time and labor.An application may be submitted by both an individual and a legal entity. In the case of filing documents by traditional methods on paper, it is allowed to submit:• to the documents of correspondence receiving window in Rospatent or FIPS;• by post to Rospatent and FIPS;• by fax, followed by the provision of original documents.

It is also possible to submit documents using electronic networks. Electronic submission of the application is carried out on the website of Rospatent (https://new.fips.ru/podacha-zayavki/podacha-zayavki-na-tovarnyy-znak/) or on the unified portal of the State Service of the Russian Federation (https://www.gosuslugi.ru/ 16376/1).

It should be noted that the submission of documents in electronic form has several advantages:- registration of applications is carried out 24/7, including weekends and holidays;- when filing an application in electronic form, the cost of the duty is reduced by 30% compared with other options for filing applications;- the speed and reliability of the workflow, sending and receiving documents is recorded in the user's personal account with an accuracy of a second.A certain inconvenience is caused by the fact that in order to register an application it is necessary to first issue a qualified certificate of electronic signature, which can be obtained at an accredited certification center. The list can be found at: https://digital.gov.ru/ru/activity/govservices/2/#section-list-of-accredited-organizations.

To obtain a certificate it is necessary:- for individuals: personal presence, passport, personal insurance policy number (SNILS);- legal entities: corporate establishment documents, certificate of entry in the Unified State Register of Legal Entities, certificate of registration with the tax authority;- electronic media for recording the certificate.

 You can select the following documents necessary for applying for registration of the designation of origin:¾ An application for state registration, which indicates: contact details and details of the applicant, the claimed designation, indication of the goods, description of the goods, description of the special properties of the goods, place of origin of goods, list of attached documents.¾ Consent to the processing of personal data, in which the applicant expresses his consent to the processing of information submitted by him by the federal executive body.¾ Document on the payment of state duty: for registering an application and conducting an examination (to facilitate the work, the website contains details for payment and an electronic form for individuals).¾ The conclusion of the authorized body, confirming the presence of specific properties of the goods, determined by the special location of its production (according to paragraph 5 of article 1522 of the Civil Code of the Russian Federation). Obtaining and providing an opinion is optional, but highly desirable since the decision to register is based to a large extent on the conclusion of authorized bodies: the Ministry of Health of the Russian Federation, the Ministry of Industry and Trade of the Russian Federation, the Ministry of Agriculture of the Russian Federation, the Federal Service for Alcohol Control and others (depending on the type of product). These institutions issue opinions on the basis of special regulations. Often, obtaining an opinion causes much more difficulties than the entire process of filing and registering designations of origin. It is worth noting that at the initial stage, an application is admissible without the conclusion of an authorized body. However, later the document still needs to be provided and attached to the application materials, which can cause a number of difficulties. In this regard, this procedure is not recommended.The verification of the eligibility of the claimed means of individualization takes place through a two-stage examination by Rospatent:- A formal examination, which consists in receiving and verifying the correctness of paperwork, duties, additional materials. If the result is positive, an examination of the means of individualization is conducted for compliance with the conditions of patentability.- Examination designations. It is carried out subject to a positive decision based on the results of a formal examination. At this stage, the compliance of the claimed designation with the requirements of the legislation of the Russian Federation is checked. As a result, the expert of Rospatent makes a decision on registration of the designation or on refusal to register designations of origin.In the event that a positive decision has been made to register the designation of origin, the applicant has to expect the following steps:¾ Payment of state duty for registration of designation of origin and issuance of certificate.¾ Obtaining a certificate certifying the right of the holder to use the registered means of individualization.If the applicant received a refusal to register the designation, it is possible to appeal the decision and actions of Rospatent.And also you have to consider the following information:• The total term for the provision of registration services for the designation of origin (reception, registration, examination and issuance of a certificate) takes about 18 months.• The term for issuing a certificate is one month from the date of payment of the fee.• The validity period of the exclusive right to the NIPT is ten years, however, its extension is possible an unlimited number of times.• The filing date of the application is considered the filing date of all documents, and in case of non-simultaneous filing - the filing date of the last document.• Information on applications filed for registration of designation of origin is published in the official bulletin.From the above review of the application submission procedure, we can conclude: self-submission of documents in electronic format and registration of the designation of origin is possible and real. You should be prepared for the time costs for issuing a qualified certificate of electronic signature and obtaining the conclusion of an authorized body. It is important to carefully fill out all the required documents, control in your personal account the correspondence with the registration authority and respond to received requests in a timely manner. Any mistake may result in a refusal to register the designation and the whole procedure will have to be completed first.Therefore, it is advisable to entrust this responsible matter to professionals who have experience in filling out documents and their subsequent submission to the patent office. This will save time, effort and money.

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