Registration of a Trademark in the Russian Federation: features, requirements, stages of the procedure

Trademark is an integral part of any business, the main purpose of which is the identification of goods or services. Since each entrepreneur who already leads or intends to develop his business on the territory of the Russian Federation needs to know that only official state registration of a trademark will provide him with an appropriate legal protection. In Russia the official registration of trademarks is carried out by the Federal Service for Intellectual Property of Rospatent, and the main aspects are regulated by articles of the Civil Code of the Russian Federation. Be awareness, that in Russia a trademark can be registered only for a legal entity or an individual entrepreneur. Before to filing a trademark application, it is necessary to determine and fully understand what your designation will be and in which format it will be submitted. According to the current legislation, there may be several such options:  Verbal;  Device / graphic;  Combined;  Other designation or a combination thereof. It should also be noted that the trademark can be registered in any color or color scheme. Further, it is necessary to identify the goods or services rendered under your trademark and refer them to the appropriate classes according to the International Classification of Goods and Services (ICGS). All goods and services are divided into 45 classes: from 1st to 34th - goods, from 35th to 45th - services. Registration procedure and its stages: According to Russian legislation, the entire registration process takes 18 months and 2 weeks. But in practice this period is 12-15 months. In order to initiate the procedure of trademark registration, it is necessary to file a set sample of application. The filing can be carried out in the following ways: directly in Russian Patent Office, by regular post, by fax or online-filing. The application must relate to the same trademark and includes: • The claimed designation; • List of goods or services as to ICGS for which registration is requested; • Description of the claimed designation; • Data about the applicant, as well as his place of residence or location. During the registration process, TM application passes through two examinations: formal and substantive examinations. All actions of the patent office are preceded by the checking payment of the official fees. If the fees are not paid or paid incorrectly, the applicant is notified accordingly. The deadline for response to such notice and for the fees payment is 2 months. If the fees are paid, then the verification phase of the availability of the necessary documents and their compliance with the set requirements begins (formal examination). The term of the examination is 1 month from the date of application filed, but it can be extended if the examination request is issued. There is 3 month period for response with the possibility of renewal, but not more than 6 months. Since the formal examination is passed, the applicant is sent a decision on acceptance with a notice of the date receipt of the application (priority date). During substantive examination is checking the compliance of the claimed sign to Russian legislation rules. No set terms for its duration. By results of examination the decision of registration or the Provisional Refusal issued. Since the Provisional Refusal as to trademark registration can be issued on the following general grounds (relative or absolute) in a case if claimed Mark: 1. Does not have distinctiveness, namely: describes the properties or characteristics of the goods or services; represents the form of the goods or is a common symbol or term. 2. Contains objects of official symbols (coats of arms, flags, seals, banknotes, etc.) 3. Is false or misleads the consumer, and also contravenes the principles of humanity and morality. 4. Identical or similar to the trademarks of other applicants, or designations claimed for registration with respect to the same or related goods/services and having an earlier priority, including trademarks protected in the Russian Federation under the procedure of international registration. 5. Is or contains official names and images of objects of cultural heritage. The applicant is provided with a six-month period to submit the Examiner his arguments for the registration of the trademark, which are indicated out in the Refusal. This six-month period cannot be extended. If the response from the applicant is filed after the specified six-month period, these materials are not accepted for consideration by the Examiner. In case of decision on registration issued and as an official fee for publication and registration is paid, the state registration is carried out within 1 month in the State Register of Trademarks. The Certificate is issued within 1 month from the date of state registration. Renewal of the validity period of the exclusive right to a trademark The exclusive right to a trademark is valid on the territory of the Russian Federation for 10 years from the date of filing the application with renewal a desired number of times. For the renewal of the trademark Certificate, it is necessary to provide Russian Patent Office with the set renewal motion within last year of registration is expired and pay the official fee in prescribed amount. In a case the deadline for the renewal of the exclusive right to a trademark has expired, according to current legislation, the rightholder has the opportunity to request for an additional six-month period to file the renewal motion of the exclusive right to a trademark.