Trademarks, service marks, and appellation of origin of goods.

A trademark and a service mark (the "trademark") are signs capable of individualising goods or services. A trademark is legally protected if it is properly registered or by virtue of international treaties. A trademark certificate is issued for a registered trademark. The certificate attests to the priority of the trademark, the exclusive right to a trademark in respect of the goods or services listed in the certificate. The trademark owner has the exclusive right to use and to prevent others from using the trademark. Word, figurative, three-dimensional, or other signs or their combinations may be registered as trademarks.

A sign cannot be registered as a trademark if it does not have a distinguishing capacity or consists only of the elements:

- that are commonplace to designate of a certain kind;
- that are generally adopted symbols and terms;
- that point to the kind, quality, quantity, properties, application, value of goods and the place and time of their manufacture or sale;
- that represent the configuration of goods which is determined exclusively or mainly by the property of function of the goods.

The signs that possess the following characteristics cannot be registered as trademarks:

- misleading or capable of confusing consumers in respect of goods or a manufacturer;
- contrary to public interests, principles of humanity or morals;
- identical or confusingly similar to official names or images of particularly valuable objects of cultural heritage;
- identical or confusingly similar to trademarks of other persons.

An application for registration of a trademark must be filed with the Rospatent. The application must contain, inter alia, a list of goods for which the trademark registration is applied for grouped under headings of the International Classification of Goods and Services for the Purposes of the Registration of Marks.

Registration of a trademark is valid for 10 years from the filing date of the application. The trademark registration period may be extended each time for the next 10 years.

An appellation of origin of goods is the name of a country, settlement, locality or other geographic place or a derivative of such name, which has become known as a result of its use to designate the special characteristics of goods which are defined, exclusively or prevailingly, by natural conditions and/or human factors specific for this area. Legal protection of an appellation of origin of goods starts following its registration in Rospatent. The right to use the same appellation of origin may be granted to any legal entity or natural person residing at the same geographic place and manufacturing goods having the same characteristics.

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