Home / Doing business in Russia 2020 / Intellectual property / Company names, trade names, trademarks and appellations...
  1. Introduction
    1. Political and administrative structure
    2. Legal environment
  2. Common forms of business structures for foreign investors
    1. Main types of structure
    2. Registration, liquidation and reorganisation of business structures
    3. Shareholders’ and participants’ agreements
    4. Strategic industries
  3. Anti-monopoly issues
    1. General legal and regulatory framework
    2. Scope of application of the Competition Law
    3. Anti-competitive practices and restriction of competition
    4. Liability
  4. Tax system
    1. General approach
    2. Corporate taxation
    3. Incentives
    4. Special tax regimes
    5. Taxation of individuals
    6. Double taxation treaties
  5. Customs regulations
    1. General approach
    2. Trade between EEU and non-EEU countries
    3. Mutual trade between the EEU members
  6. Currency control
    1. Foreign currency transactions
    2. Consequences of breach/Penalties
  7. Lending in Russia
    1. Lending documents and governing law
    2. Jurisdiction
    3. International finance transactions and repatriation requirements
    4. Security interests
    5. Recognition of security trusts
    6. Syndicated loans
    7. Enforcement
    8. Suretyships and guarantees
    9. Bankruptcy considerations
    10. Other lending related issues
  8. Employment and migration
    1. Formalising the employment relationship
    2. Managing employment relationships
    3. Terminating an employment agreement
    4. Specifics of employing foreign nationals
  9. Personal data protection
    1. General approach
    2. Scope of the Data Protection Law
    3. Liability
    4. Right to be forgotten
  10. Intellectual property
    1. General approach
    2. Contractual aspects of intellectual property rights
    3. Rights over the results of intellectual activity
    4. Company names, trade names, trademarks and appellations of origin
    5. Intellectual property rights infringements
    6. IP Court
  11. Advertising issues
    1. General approach
    2. Scope of application of the Advertising Law
    3. Violations of the Advertising Law
    4. Liability
  12. Anti-corruption and compliance
    1. General approach
    2. Legal framework
    3. Compliance requirements for companies
    4. Concept of corruption in Russian law
    5. Possible targets of bribery
    6. Liability and penalties for corruption
    7. Example of sector-specific anti-corruption measures
  13. Real estate and construction
    1. Rights to real estate
    2. Real estate transactions
    3. Resolution of real estate disputes
    4. Planning and construction issues
  14. Corporate bankruptcy
    1. Insolvency criteria
    2. Stages of bankruptcy proceedings
  15. Import substitution and production localisation in Russia
    1. Measures affecting goods importation and current import substitution legislation
    2. Localisation incentives
    3. Sector-specific impact of import restrictions and localisation requirements
  16. Banking sector
    1. Legislative and regulatory framework
    2. Licensing and operations
    3. Deposit insurance
    4. The anti-money laundering law
    5. Bank secrecy
    6. FATCA and CRS
  17. Environment, energy efficiency and renewables
    1. Environment
    2. Energy efficiency
    3. Renewables
  18. Infrastructure and public private partnerships
    1. General approach
    2. Key PPP legislation
    3. Russian PPP environment
    4. Financing
    5. Legal issues
    6. Prospects for infrastructure projects
  19. Oil & gas
    1. Legislative framework
    2. Ownership and licensing
    3. Restrictions on foreign investors
    4. Licences
    5. PSAs

Company names, trade names, trademarks and appellations of origin

Company names

Chapter 76 of the Civil Code provides for the protection of means of individualisation, i.e. the protection of those intellectual property rights that are used to distinguish and identify companies or the goods or services they offer.

The company name is indicated in the corporate documents of the company, and it is reflected in the Unified State Register of Legal Entities. The company name is protected in Russia upon the company's registration with the tax authorities.

The exclusive right of a company over its company name may not be transferred or licensed to third parties. This exclusive right allows the owner of the company name to use the name freely, in particular, (i) on signs; (ii) on letterheads; (iii) on official documents; (iv) in advertising; (v) on products; (vi) on packaging; and (vii) on the Internet.

Additionally, the company name may be protected as a trademark or as a commercial name (a trade name).

Trade names/commercial names

Legal entities may use trade names separately from their company name. Unlike the company name, the trade name is not necessarily mentioned in corporate documents or in the Unified State Register of Legal Entities. The trade name may be used to distinguish different enterprises of a legal entity. A legal entity can have only one trade name. A legal entity may not use a trade name which would create confusion with a third party's company name or trademark or which would mislead consumers. The right to use a trade name to individualise a Russian company is valid throughout Russia.

This exclusive right ceases to exist if the owner does not use the trade name for one year. The right to use a trade name is protected independently, regardless of the company name or trademarks. It may be transferred by a franchise agreement or by a contract for the lease of an enterprise.

Trademarks/service marks

A trademark is a designation which is used to distinguish the goods or services of companies. A trademark can be a word, a figure or a three-dimensional designation, or a combination of all of these elements. The Civil Code provides a list of words and designations that may not be used as trademarks.

To be protected in Russia, the trademark needs to be registered with Rospatent in the Register of Trademarks. Alternatively, it may be protected in Russia under the Madrid System of the International Registration of Marks.

The duration of trademark protection is ten years, which is calculated from the date of filing of the application with Rospatent. There is an option to renew this ten-year protection period, subject to the necessary petition and payment being made.

As a general rule, the exclusive rights to a trademark are transferable to third parties, unless this assignment would be misleading for consumers. The exclusive right to use a trademark may also be licensed to allow a third party to use that trademark within the framework of the licence and in accordance with the quality requirements set out by the licensor.

Trademark protection may be terminated early if the trademark is not sufficiently used during any three consecutive years after the date of registration. Any interested person may file an application for non-use invalidation with the Chamber of Patent Disputes under Rospatent.

Information on applications for the registration of a trademark is to be published in the official gazette of Rospatent, as well as in Rospatent’s online database

Any person may object to a particular trademark as soon as this information has been officially published.

Appellations of origin of goods

The appellation of origin of goods is the name of the place where the goods come from. It may designate a country name, a city or any geographical area referring to the place of origin of the product.

An appellation of origin registered with Rospatent is protected throughout Russia. Any producer (or group of producers) acting within the geographical area designated by the appellation of origin may enjoy the right to use that name provided it has first obtained a certificate from Rospatent and, if the appellation of origin has not yet been registered, to register it.

The system of official publication of trademark registration applications and right to object described above applies to appellations of origin.

Geographical indications 

From 27 July 2020, geographical indications will be protected in Russia and it will be possible to register them with Rospatent. The corresponding amendments to the Civil Code were signed on 26 July 2019. 

The geographical indication is a new form of intellectual property which will co-exist with appellations of origin of goods. 

The geographical indication is a designation used on products that have a specific geographical origin and possess special qualities or a reputation that are due to that origin. At least one stage of the product manufacturing process must be conducted on the territory specified in the geographical indication.

Key contacts

Anton Bankovskiy
Anton Bankovskiy
Head of Intellectual Property
T +7 495 786 40 63