Russia Amends Legislation Affecting Foreign Champagne and Cognac Producers
Amendments to the Russian law on state regulation of production and turnover of alcoholic products and the law on wine trade were published and immediately entered into force on July 6, 2021, significantly affecting the interests of champagne and cognac producers exporting their products to Russia.
The main amendment, which sparked a big public outcry, was the deletion of the term ‘shampanskoye’ (‘champagne’ in Russian) and the introduction of the term ‘Russian shampanskoye’. While wines from the Champagne region of France retain the exclusive right to use the name ‘champagne’ in Latin characters on the main label, under the amendments they can no longer use the term ‘shampanskoye’ in Cyrillic characters on the back label. Instead, they should use the term ‘sparkling wine’. Only Russian sparkling wines are now allowed to use the term 'Russian shampanskoye'.
Additionally, the law on wine trade was supplemented with definitions of ‘konyak’ (‘cognaс’ in Russian) and ‘Russian konyak’, with the latter referring to ‘a cognac’ completely made from grapes cultivated in Russia. According to the amendments, after a transition period of seven years, the name ‘cognac’ will only be used for brandies produced in Russia.
The dispute between Russia and France over the use of brand names ‘champagne’ and ‘cognac’ is a longstanding one. ‘Shampanskoye’ or specifically ‘Sovetskoye Shampanskoye’ (‘Soviet champagne’ in Russian) has been a generic brand of sparkling wine produced in the Soviet Union and successor states since the 1930s. In the late 1980s, France started arguing against the USSR manufacturers’ use of such labels to refer to sparkling wine not made in the Champagne region, and in 1996 Russia seemingly agreed to stop using the term ‘champagne’ for local sparkling wines and even considered abolishing the Cyrillic equivalents for ‘champagne’ and ‘cognac’. However, this never became a reality. In 2017, France even considered lifting its economic sanctions against Russia if the country stopped using ‘champagne’ and ‘cognac’ in Cyrillic. Draft laws excluding ‘shampanskoye’ and ‘konyak’ have been discussed in Russia since 2016, so these recent amendments protecting the rights of Russian winemakers and legalizing the use of ‘Russian shampanskoye’ have come as a surprise.
In response to the recent developments, Comité Champagne, the trade association representing the interests of Champagne producers and Champagne Houses, stated that as a result of the amendments the Russian consumers will not be provided with clear and transparent information on the origin and characteristics of wines and that the Comité Champagne regrets that the new law calls into question more than twenty years of bilateral discussions between France and Russia on the protection of designations of origin.
By: Tatyana Kulikova
For more information, please contact Tatyana Kulikova at our Russia office.
Hungary Ratifies Geneva Act of the Lisbon Agreement
On June 10, 2021, Hungary deposited its instrument of ratification of the Geneva Act of the Lisbon Agreement on Appellations of Origin and Geographical Indications with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). The Geneva Act of the Lisbon Agreement will enter into force with respect to Hungary on September 10, 2021.
Hungary has been party to the Lisbon Agreement for the Protection of Appellations of Origin and their International Registration since 1966 and was among the most active delegations in the process of revision of the Lisbon Agreement that ultimately led to the adoption of the Geneva Act of the Lisbon Agreement on Appellations of Origin and Geographical Indications in 2015. This ratification will allow Hungary to protect both its appellations of origin and geographical indications under the Geneva Act, in particular those in the non-agricultural product category.
The Geneva Act, concluded in 2015, and the Lisbon Agreement, concluded in 1958, constitute the “Lisbon System” for the international registration and protection of appellations of origin and geographical indications. The “Lisbon System” currently covers 54 countries.
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Russian IPO Introduces Fee for Issuing Paper Copies of Documents
On June 21, 2021, the Russian IPO introduced the official fee of EUR 23 (USD 27) for the issuance of a paper copy of a letter patent, a certificate of registration, or their annexes. If this fee is not paid and a paper copy is not requested, applicants will receive documents in electronic form only.
The new official fee follows the introduction of electronic registration certificates and letters patent on January 17, 2021.
Prepared by: Tatyana Kulikova
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Kazakhstan to Introduce Mandatory Digital Labeling of Medicines
On January 1, 2022, Kazakhstan will start implementing mandatory digital labeling of medicines. The implementation stages will be determined by the Kazakh Ministry of Health.
At the moment, a pilot project is taking place allowing pharmaceutical companies to test the labeling process before it becomes mandatory. Four Kazakh pharmaceutical manufacturers, one importer, two distributors, five pharmacies and eight medical institutions, as well as the state-run medicine distributor SK-Pharmacy LLP are taking part in the project. Almost 100,000 packages of medical products have been digitally labeled since September 2019, when the project was initiated.
The obligatory digital labeling system aims to ensure better quality control and transparent circulation of medicines throughout their life cycles. The system also intends to minimize the presence of counterfeit medicines in the market. Finally, importers and manufacturers will be able to monitor the supply chain and anticipate and prevent drug shortages.
Within the framework of this project, information about medicines is entered into the Information System for Labeling and Traceability of Goods, after which the system generates a Data Matrix code for each medicine containing digital information about the manufacturer and importer, the serial number of the batch of medicines and other information necessary to control the movement of the drug. The Data Matrix code cannot be forged due to cryptographic protection.
Digital labeling is also being implemented for other types of products in Kazakhstan, including alcoholic beverages, dairy products and other consumer goods. The mandatory labeling of shoes started on July 1, 2021, while the labeling of tobacco products was introduced on October 1, 2020.
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Google Sues Kyiv Real Estate Developer over NEST® Trademark
Google LLC has recently filed a lawsuit before the Kyiv City Commercial Court against Nerukhomist Stolytsi, a Ukrainian real estate development company based in the capital of Kyiv, and the Ukrainian PTO, asking the court to partially cancel the NEST® national trademark registration owned by the defendant.
Google owns the NEST® trademark for its line of smart home devices in various other countries. The trademark was previously owned by Nest Labs, a company which Google acquired in January 2014. With the aim of launching its NEST® goods and services in Ukraine, Google is seeking protection for its NEST® mark locally.
The Ukrainian NEST® trademark was registered in 2007, for goods and services in classes 35, 36, 37, and 42, in the name of Nerukhomist Stolytsi, operating in the Ukrainian real estate market since 1997 and engaged in the construction and maintenance of both residential property and business centers.
Google is asking the court to partially cancel the NEST® national trademark registration, for services in classes 37 and 42, claiming that the Ukrainian developer has not used its trademark for these services for an uninterrupted period of five years.
Prepared by: Valentyna Martynenko
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Hungarian Customs Detain EUR 24 Million Worth of Luxury Fakes
The Hungarian National Tax and Customs Administration officials at the Nagylak border crossing point with Romania recently detained nearly 50,000 items of clothing, footwear and accessories believed to infringe numerous trademarks, including Alexander McQueen®, Armani®, Balmain®, BMW®, Boss®, Burberry®, Christian Louboutin®, Dior®, Disney®, Givenchy®, Gucci®, Hermès®, Karl Lagerfeld®, Kenzo®, Lacoste®, Louis Vuitton®, Marc Jacobs®, Michael Kors®, Moncler®, Moschino®, Prada® and Ralph Lauren®.
The goods were discovered during the inspection of a truck travelling from Turkey to Belgium and are estimated to be worth approximately EUR 23.7 million (USD 27.9 million).
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Romanian Customs Detain Nearly EUR 3 Million Worth of Cosmetics, Perfume
On June 22, 2021, the Romanian customs officials at the port of Constanta in eastern Romania detained 31,872 items of cosmetics and perfumes believed to infringe numerous trademarks, including Versace®, Cacharel®, Paco Rabanne®, Yves Saint Laurent®, Lancôme®, Ralph Lauren®, Carolina Herrera®, Britney Spears®, Calvin Klein®, Hugo Boss®, Dior®, Gucci®, Jean Paul Gaultier®, Giorgio Armani® and Guy Laroche®.
The goods, estimated to be worth approximately EUR 2.95 million (USD 3.46 million) were discovered during the inspection of a container arriving from China and intended for a company from the capital of Bucharest.
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IAM Patent 1000 Ranks PETOŠEVIĆ Offices and Professionals for Excellent Patent Work
The IAM Patent 1000 – The World’s Leading Patent Professionals 2021 rankings were recently published, recognizing PETOŠEVIĆ offices and practitioners in three jurisdictions.
The IAM Patent 1000 is published by IAM, a leading IP business information provider and the sister publication of the World Trademark Review. Banding includes Gold, Silver, and Bronze bands or just a Recommendation without a band in some countries.
PETOŠEVIĆ was ranked as follows:
Romania – Highly recommended for Patent Prosecution
Russia – Recommended for Patent Prosecution
Ukraine – Silver band
The guide shined a spotlight on four PETOŠEVIĆ practitioners for excellent patent work:
Dina Petošević, Regional Manager – Russian Speaking Region
Aura Campeanu, Head of Office, PETOŠEVIĆ Romania
Ivan Nagornykh, Patent Attorney, PETOŠEVIĆ Russia
Taras Manolov, Patent Attorney, PETOŠEVIĆ Ukraine
For more information and to read testimonials about PETOŠEVIĆ and our practitioners, please visit our Rankings page.
WTR Global Leaders 2021 Recognizes Three PETOŠEVIĆ Practitioners
World Trademark Review has recently published its third edition of WTR Global Leaders, including three PETOŠEVIĆ attorneys among the world’s foremost law firm and corporate trademark experts:
Aura Campeanu – Private practice, Romania
Ivan Kos – Private practice, Croatia
Mihajlo Zatezalo – Private practice, Serbia
WTR Global Leaders is a publication that identifies the best of the best in trademark practice by drawing on the WTR 1000 and the WTR 300 research projects. To qualify for inclusion in WTR Global Leaders, individuals must be ranked in the gold tier of the WTR 1000.
For more information and to read client testimonials about PETOŠEVIĆ and our team, visit our Rankings page.