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.
This article introduces the World Trade Organization (WTO) rules on sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) measures and the European Union's policies and legislation that exemplify these rules. This forms the basis for examining primary Russian SPS legislation governing border controls and its relationship with legislative provisions on human, animal, and plant health and food safety. Specific Russsian primary federal laws (federal'nye zakony) covering veterinary medicine, plant health, food quality/safety, pesticides and agrochemicals, and technical regulations are compared with corresponding international conventions, norms, and standards and relevant legislation in the EU. Finally, general remarks are made about the Russian Federation's secondary legislation in the SPS area. Instances of non-compliance with international norms, found by the authors, may contribute to trade difficulties with other countries and likely will need to be addressed as part of Russia's negotiations to join the WTO and, also, to remove some of the difficulties in trade with the EU.