WTO Negotiations with Respect to Geographical Indications and Russia's Position on the Protection of Appellations of Origin

In: Review of Central and East European Law
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Abstract

The present article examines the current stage of the WTO negotiations with respect to the protection of geographical indications (GIs). GIs are distinctive signs that associate products of quality and reputation with their place or area of production and, thereby, help identify and distinguish such products on the market. Well-known examples of geographical indications include Irish Whiskey, Gorgonzola, Tequila, Bordeaux, Roquefort, Antigua Coffee, and Parma Ham. This article examines the manner in which geographical indications are protected in the Russian Federation. Russia considers protection of this type of intellectual property to be one of the key TRIPs issues and is seen to fully support the position of those countries that are demanding enhanced protection of geographical indications around the world. One of the major problems in respect to the protection of intellectual property in Russia is the fact that enforcement of intellectual property laws has—thus far—been rather limited. In conclusion, the authors suggest that Russia's entry into the WTO will prove benefi cial to both Russia itself and to other WTO Members with respect to intellectual property protection.

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