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  • 01 Aug 2019 2:00 PM | Alexander Belyasov (Administrator)


    Ekaterina Fourmanova

    Associate, Trade Mark & Design Attorney
    Gowling WLG (International) Inc.

    E-mail: [email protected]


    Igor Motsnyi

    Partner, Trade Mark Attorney
    Motsnyi Legal Services

    E-mail: [email protected]

    On 27 July 2018, the Russian State Duma passed the first reading of the draft Bill ‘On Amendments to Part IV of the Civil Code of the Russian Federation’, which concerns geographical indications.

    The Bill will introduce geographical indications as an independent form of intellectual property which will co-exist with appellations of origin, which are currently protected under Russian law.

    Among the most famous Russian names registered as appellations of origin are KHOKHLOMA painting, GZHEL porcelain, ZHOSTOVO painting, ESSENTUKI mineral water, RUSSIAN VODKA and ABRAU-DURSO sparkling wine.

    Such famous foreign names as ASTI and PROSECCO for Italian wines, TEQUILA for a Mexican national alcoholic spirit, HABANOS for Cuban cigars, PROSCUITTO DI PARMA for Italian dry-cured ham, GRANA PADANO, PARMIGIANO REGGIANO, GORGONZOLA for Italian cheeses and others are already protected as appellations of origin in Russia.

    While appellations of origin are used by consumers as a way of ensuring the high quality and special features of a product, appellations of origin are still not widely used in practice. Currently, only about 170 appellations of origin are registered in Russia, 35 of which are owned by foreign manufacturers. In contrast, more than 3000 geographical indications and appellations of origin are protected in the European Union, underscoring the significant untapped opportunity for domestic and foreign applicants that have yet to explore these forms of protection in Russia.

    Case law has revealed a number of problems in the law on appellations of origin, which has kept it from realising its full potential in Russia. Under the current law, an appellation of origin incorporating the name of a geographical place in a foreign country can be granted only if such name is protected in that foreign country as an appellation of origin as opposed to other means of protection. Rospatent (the Russian Federal Service for Intellectual Property) has continuously refused foreign applicants seeking protection for their geographical indications on these grounds in Russia.

    According to the proposed definition, a geographical indication is a designation that identifies a product as originating from the territory of a geographical object, where the certain quality, reputation and other characteristics of the product are substantially determined by their geographical origin. At least one stage of the product manufacturing process must fall within the said geographical object.

    This definition highlights an important difference between geographical indications and appellations of origin, since, as regards the latter, the complete manufacturing process, as well as the raw materials, must be localised within and originate from the geographical area concerned. 

    Protection of a new geographical indication – or a registered one – may be obtained by one or several individuals or legal entities by way of filing an application with Rospatent. Notably, the draft Bill also proposes that a geographical indication may be registered by a group of producers (e.g., an association) organised and acting according to the legislation of the country of origin.

    The application shall include information describing the connection between the essential features of the product – namely the quality, reputation and other characteristics – with the place of the product’s origin or manufacture, along with documents confirming the same. Unlike with appellations of origin, there will be no strict requirement to describe the unique qualities of the goods or provide evidence that all the goods produced under a certain geographical indication will be characterised by a single unique set of features.

    State registration of a geographical indication can be granted to a designation, allowing identification of the product as originating from the geographical area located in a foreign country, provided that this designation enjoys protection as a geographical indication, or another form of exclusive IP right in the country of origin. Protection may be granted only to the right holder whose right is secured in the country of origin. Should the right holder lose its right in the country of origin, the geographical indication protection will terminate in Russia.

    According to the Bill, earlier registered appellations of origin cannot be granted parallel protection as geographical indications for the same type of goods. At the same time, existing registered appellations of origin and those newly filed may be converted into geographical indications in relation to the same type of goods, assuming all the respective requirements be met.

    The exclusive right for a geographical indication will be valid for ten years after the application filing date and may be renewed for an unlimited number of subsequent ten-year periods, provided that the right holder maintains the possibility of manufacturing the product with the same characteristics and level of quality.

    The right holder will be entitled to use the geographical indication in relation to the product it is registered for by all means provided by the law, as well as prohibit third parties from using the geographical indication – even as a translation from another language or with a disclaimer ‘sort’, ‘type’ or ‘imitation’, as well as other confusingly similar designations likely to mislead consumers.    

    Right holders will be entitled to use the warning sign ‘registered appellation of origin of goods’ or ‘registered geographical indication’, as well as respective symbols – by analogy with the ® symbol used for registered trade marks – in order to show the status of their rights.

    Just like with the appellation of origin, the disposal of exclusive rights in a geographical indication, such as the transfer of rights to a third party or granting a licence, will be prohibited.

    The Bill on GIs is a welcome innovation. It aims to fulfil Russia's World Trade Organization (WTO) obligations under Articles 22 and 23 of the Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) Agreement, which requires protection of geographical indications and is in line with the Geneva Act of the Lisbon Agreement on Appellations of Origin and Geographical Indications.

    Introducing geographical indications as a separate form of intellectual property is likely to promote regional Russian brands and raise awareness among consumers, attract investment, support rural settlements, generate employment and contribute to the development of tourism.

    Foreign producers will enjoy enhanced protection of their products in Russia by securing the rights to a more accessible means of intellectual property protection offered by a geographical indication.

    The new legislation is aimed at preventing products from being misleading in terms of their place of origin on the market and combating the import and sale of counterfeit products in Russia.

    On July 26 the Bill has passed all readings and became the Law № 230-FZ becoming effective as of July 26, 2020.

    Article can also be found at: ECTA Bulletin June 2019

    Source: European Communities Trademark Association (ECTA)

  • 01 Aug 2019 1:00 PM | Alexander Belyasov (Administrator)

    Moscow, July 2019 – On 19 and 21 June 2019, lawyers from Dentons' Russian real estate and construction practice held case-study based seminars about reforms to the law governing shared construction (dolevoye stroitelstvo). The reforms pave the way for the transition to bank project financing using escrow accounts, the framework that is soon to wholly replace developers' raising funds direct from individual investors. Around 150 people from major Russian and international banks and developers took part in the seminars.

    The lawyers from Dentons and the attendees modeled possible scenarios under the new rules and discussed how the law would work in practice. They also explored specific cases from the point of view of the various parties involved in shared construction – banks, developers and investors. The attendees swapped their experiences and shared perspectives on possible problems, as well as their views as to how they could be addressed.

    Taking part for Dentons were, from the real estate and construction practice, Sergey Trakhtenberg, Tatiana Petrykina, Olga Elliott, Ivan Kurochkin and Anastasiya Sebyakina and, from the banking and finance practice, Anna Nekhodtseva.

    Sergey Trakhtenberg, partner and head of Dentons' Russian real estate and construction practice: "The law in the area of shared construction is changing all the time. Business doesn't always manage to keep up with the changes, which can quite often be fundamental. This has implications for decisions already taken relating to projects acquired and for plans for new projects. At these events, our aim, as usual, was to put theory to one side as far as we could and discuss the practical aspects of how the law would work, using particular cases as examples. By doing this, we ended up with an interesting, interactive discussion between the lawyers from Dentons and the professional audience – banks and developers – in which everyone could put questions of interest to them and exchange their views".

    About Dentons

    Dentons is the world's largest law firm* providing a full range of legal services. Dentons is highly ranked in the Acritas Global Elite Law Firm Brand Index, has won the BTI Client Service 30 Award and is highly rated by business and legal publications for its innovation, including the creation of Nextlaw Labs and the Nextlaw Global Referral Network. Dentons provides legal services for Russian and foreign companies, banks and other financial institutions, direct investment funds, state enterprises and non-commercial organizations.

    * The American Lawyer 2018 – Global 100 law firms by number of lawyers.

  • 30 Jul 2019 10:52 AM | Vera Dedyulya (Administrator)

    CERBA Canadian business mission to Zabaikalye, led by Tom Nevakshonoff, a former member of Legislature and Cabinet Minister of Manitoba Government; met with Acting First Deputy Chairman of the Government of Zabaykalye, Marat Mirhaidarov and the ministry of Investment Development of Zabaikalsky Krai, to discuss the cooperation opportunities in Chita on July 30, 2019.

    The meeting was followed by the Roundtable and Canadian companies' presentations at the Pushkin Library. Among the Canadian delegation were:
    ▪️CERBA Manitoba Board Chair, Mr. Tom Nevakshonoff; 
    ▪️CERBA Moscow Regional Director, Mr. Alex Grichine; 
    ▪️Bühler Industries Chief Operation Officer - Mr.Grant Adolph; 

    The mission is also supported by the Canadian Embassy in the Russian Federation.

  • 10 Jul 2019 11:16 AM | Vera Dedyulya (Administrator)

    Both foreign firms and organizations, as well as domestic producers (suppliers), including small businesses that have fulfilled the conditions for participation in them, as well as those who have experience in supplying the corresponding volumes of products purchased on a tender basis can take part in the next tenders.

    For more information on each tender, application deadlines and turms - click on the link.

  • 10 Jul 2019 10:44 AM | Vera Dedyulya (Administrator)

    Within a joint project to promote sustainable management of water resources in rural areas of Uzbekistan, EU and the German Society for International Cooperation (GIZ- Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit) announce Prosoft Tender No. 91129581 for the supply and installation of solarphotovoltaic stations in the regions of Uzbekistan: Surkhandarya, Kashkadarya and Fergana on three lots:

    Lot No 1 -- 22 kW photovoltaic station, autonomy 14 hours, output voltage 380V (three-phase) in the Fergana region.

    Lot No 2 -- 22 kW photovoltaic station, autonomy 14 hours, output voltage 380V (three-phase) in Kashkadarya region.

    Lot No 3 -- 18 kW photovoltaic station, autonomy 14 hours, output voltage 380V (three phase) in the Surkhandarya region.

    Bids are accepted until July 15,2019.

    All interested companies in Uzbekistan are invited to participate in the tender.

    Terms of payment (by bank transfer only): 15 percent advance payment, 85 percent after delivery and commissioning. To register in the upcoming tender, participants must send confirmation in the form of an interest letter to the e-mail: [email protected] and [email protected]

    Alterntatively, they can send a confirmation letter (with the full name of the company / organization, a short summary is welcome, postal code, address in Uzbekistan, e-mail, phone number / cell. Number) at the address: 100029 Tashkent, Uzbekistan, Mirabad district, st. Chimkentskaya 7 A., Purchasing Department.

  • 10 Jul 2019 10:35 AM | Vera Dedyulya (Administrator)


    Investors ask to cancel privileges so that everyone has equal conditions, Minister of Investments and Foreign Trade of Uzbekistan Sardor Umurzakov said, Trend reports with reference to the Ministry.

    "Improvement of the tax system, equal distribution of the tax burden for all is very important for attracting foreign investment," the minister stressed.

    He drew attention to the fact that if earlier investors were counting on benefits, now they are waiting for their cancellation.

    The minister noted that new investment law is currently being prepared in Uzbekistan. In his words, all currently existing legislation, decisions, decrees and orders related to investments will be revised to be reflected in the new law.

  • 05 Jul 2019 3:00 AM | Alexander Belyasov (Administrator)

    On June 20, 2019, Canada Eurasia Russia Business Association (CERBA), the Russia Canada Business Council (RCBC) and the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs (RSPP), held an RCBC conference on Corporate Social Responsibility, linked to the 15th Anniversary of the Russia Canada Business Council (RCBC). The event was titled "The impact of the concept of Sustainable Development on business strategy and CSR business practices", and took place at the RSPP premises in Moscow, Russia. 

    The objective of the event was to provide a platform for the representatives of Russian and Canadian companies to discuss the effective practices of Russian and Canadian businesses in the field of CSR and Sustainable Development, and to demonstrate the impact of these programs on companies’ bottom lines, including reduction or prevention of risks, meeting investors’ expectations, attracting highly qualified specialists, and generally maintaining a balance between the interests of the company and its stakeholders and the needs of the community under the general concept of Sustainable Development.

    The Plenary session featured speeches by Alexander Shokhin, the President of RSPP, Nathan Hunt, the Chairman of the CERBA Moscow Board, Andrey Varichev, General Director of MC Metalloinvest and Executive Director of Russia Canada Business Council (RCBC), Mr. Alisher Usmanov, RCBC Co-Chair from the Russian side, (conveyed by Mr. Varichev), Stéphane Jobin, Charge d'Affaires, Embassy of Canada in the Russian Federation, and Valery Timashov, Head of the Department of the North America, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation. Speakers emphasized the importance and relevance of the event agenda, and similarities between the economies of Canada and Russia that make possible a successful exchange of experience and identification of the most effective CSR practices that business can use to solve their immediate problems.

    Welcome speeches were followed by on official RCBC Award Ceremony. On the occasion of the 15th Anniversary of the Russia Canada Business Council  (RCBC), the following Russian and Canadian representatives received awards for their outstanding contribution to the development of business relations between Canada and Russia:  Alexander Shokhin, President, RSPP, Elena Feoktistova, Deputy Chairman of the RSPP Committee on CSR and demographic policy,  Stanislav Borodyuk, Vice-President and Head of the Moscow Representative Office, Kinross Gold Corporation, Alexander Ivlev, CIS Managing Partner,  Ernst & Young, and Neil Withers, Chairman, CFA Association Russia.

    One of the brightest projects presented at the conference was "Kupol" Foundation, founded by Kinross Gold Corporation with the objective to make a contribution of to the socio-economic development of Chukotka and to assist in improving the quality of life of the local population. The fund has been working with the indigenous population of Chukotka since 2009 by supporting folk crafts, small and medium-sized businesses, financing education and health care. Over the past 10 years, "Kupol" Foundation has made a significant contribution to the socio-economic development of Chukotka by carrying out 162 projects in various fields such as healthcare, education, entrepreneurship and traditions of indigenous people. Acknowledging the 10th Anniversary of "Kupol" Foundation, and recognizing its outstanding contribution to the development of the indigenous communities of the Russian North, Siberia and Far East regions, the Russia Canada Business Council (RCBC) presented the certificate of honor to Lyudmila Danilova, Executive Director of the "Kupol" Foundation.

    The plenary session was followed by the two Keynote Presentations. Neil Withers, Chairman of CFA Association Russia, has delivered the presentation "Shareholders and investors are still your main stakeholders”, where he looked at the Corporate Social Responsibility from the professional investors’ points of view, and shared practical suggestions from a global survey that included Russia. Alexander Ivlev, CIS Managing Partner and Deputy Regional Accounts Leader for Central, Eastern and Southeastern Europe & Central Asia, Ernst & Young made a speech on the topic "Will companies that society needs be the only ones to survive?", highlighting the main recent trends that influenced the transformation of the modern business.

    The event included two panel discussions. The first discussion was devoted to corporate business practices in the field of environmental protection in the context of Sustainable Development concept. The panel was moderated by Dr. Evgeny Shvarts, Director for Conservation Policy of World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Russia. In the modern world, the environmental problem is very acute, and business cannot ignore it. Top experts from Canadian companies -  Kinross Gold Corporation, BRP, Wood PLC Russian companies as En+ Group, Rosatom, SIBUR, Segezha Group, spoke about cases on forest restoration, careful use of resources, separate waste collection, as well as innovative projects for the development of environmentally friendly packaging, new types of metals, and generally about the “Green production” concept. All participants agreed that, besides a positive effect on the state of the environment, the environment protection practices can also positively affect the profitability of the business - saving resources practices, for instance, can significantly reduce manufacturing and other costs. As Leslie Quinton (BRP) summarized it, “despite the fact that at first environmental projects may require certain costs, in the long term they pay off in full.”

    The second panel discussion on the topic "CSR Practices in Relations with Stakeholders” was moderated by Elena Feoktistova, Managing Director of the Department on Corporate Responsibility, Sustainability and Social Entrepreneurship of RSPP, Deputy Chairman of the RSPP Committee on CSR and demographic policy. The discussion focused on the issue of the company’s successful interaction with its various stakeholders, which is one of the key principles of corporate social responsibility, as well as a way to maintain a balance of interests, and a risk management factor. The panel featured representatives of Hatch, ERM, Buhler/Rostselmash, EuroChem Group, MC Metalloinvest, AFK Sistema, Severstal, Norilsk Nickel, and "Kupol" Foundation. During the discussion, panel participants agreed that correct management of community relations, community development and early planning could bring a lot of benefits to the company in the long term, and also acknowledged the importance of the supply chain management.

    Summing up the results of the conference, Nathan Hunt and Elena Feoktistova expressed satisfaction that the issues on the agenda of the conference aroused keen interest of the expert community, and were the base for an interesting and fruitful discussion, equally beneficial for both parties. They also emphasized a very important conclusion made on the basis of the participants' speeches – a well-implemented CSR policy can not only significantly improve the company's image, but also significantly strengthen its position in the market. In words of Nathan Hunt, "… CSR is not only about what is "good", it is also a financial benefit for a company that practices this approach." Elena Feoktistova acknowledged that the conference featured “a serious and productive conversation, it is good that it was possible to combine the experience of RSPP, our best industrialists, and Canadian companies that have a great tradition of CSR”.

    The conference was attended by more than 120 representatives of the major Russian and Canadian businesses, and demonstrated that Sustainable Development and Corporate Social Responsibility is one of the areas with great potential for the facilitation of the Russia Canada business dialog.  In a more general sense conference demonstrated that both sides are interested and willing to support the promotion of such a dialog. CERBA consider this event to be a big success and an important step toward further improvement of the business dialog and cooperation between Canada and Russia.

    CERBA also would like to express its sincere gratitude to the event sponsors: Kinross Gold Corporation, Metalloinvest and Orion Heritage.


    Alexander Shokhin, Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs (RSPP)

    Welcoming words

    Alexander Ivlev, Ernst & Young

    Выживут только те компании, которые нужны обществу

    Neil Withers, CFA Association Russia

    Global ESG Integration Study. CFA Institute and PRI. “Shareholders and investors are still your main stakeholders”

    Dmitry Kolchugin, AFK Sistema

    Взаимодействие со стейкхолдерами в контексте ESG

    Nikolai Ivanov, Segezha Group

    Бизнес-стратегия в контексте устойчивого развития. Процесс и результаты

    Anton Butmanov, En+ Group

    Sustainable development: at the heart of En+’s business model

    Dmitry Kladkov, Buhler/Rostselmash

    Ростсельмаш. Корпоративная социальная ответственность

    Viktor Silin, Kupol Mine, Kinross Gold Corporation

    Влияние повестки (целей) устойчивого развития на стратегии бизнеса и практику КСО. Экологическая открытость как основа КСО

    Lyudmila Danilova, "Kupol" Foundation

    10 лет Фонду социального развития «Купол»

    Yulia Mazanova, MC Metalloinvest

    Практика по взаимодействию с заинтересованными сторонами в контексте устойчивого развития и стратегии бизнеса

    Maxim Remchukov, SIBUR

    Корпоративные практики в сфере окружающей среды в контексте ЦУР-2030 в Компании СИБУР

    Vladimir Torin, EuroChem Group

    Устойчивое развитие городов присутствия – политика КСО компании ЕвроХим

    Leslie Quinton, Bombardier Recreational Products (BRP)

    Best practices in CSR: BRP’s initiatives worldwide

    Sergey Bourtsev, ERM Eurasia

    ERM и Устойчивое развитие. ERM and Sustainable Development

    Robert Machowski, Hatch Russia and CIS

    CSR Conference. Relations with Stakeholders
  • 02 Jul 2019 2:00 AM | Alexander Belyasov (Administrator)

    On July 1 in Moscow, Russia, representatives of the diplomatic community as well as Canadian and Russian government, business, political, sport, and culture circles enjoyed a reception on the occasion of the Canada Day celebration. The event was organized by the Embassy of Canada in the Russian Federation, in the Hall of Fame of the Hockey Museum. It brought together more than 100 guests – contacts of the Embassy involved in various sectors of interest to Canada. The event started with the welcoming speech of Stéphane Jobin, Charge d'Affaires, Embassy of Canada in the Russian Federation, who highlighted the fact that the people-to-people connections between citizens of our countries provide a solid background for a frank dialogue between the governments about critical issues like a rules based international order, regional security, respect for human rights, and the future of our Arctic regions. He also explained the choice of the venue – the Hockey Museum – as a symbolic highlight of an important and longstanding cultural aspect shared by Canadians and Russians - the passion for hockey. From the Russian side, Vladislav Tretiak, President of Society of Friends of Canada, President of the Ice Hockey Federation of Russia, Member of the State Duma of the Russian Federation, and Viacheslav Fetisov, Soviet and Russian Hockey Player, Member of the State Duma of the Russian Federation, greeted the guests and presented to Mr. Jobin an autographed commemorative photo of the Canadian and Russian Hockey Legends.

    The event was held in a ceremonial atmosphere, Canadian and Russian national anthems were played.

    The event highlighted the diversity of interests that Canadians have in Russia and the longstanding people-to-people connections.


  • 26 Jun 2019 9:33 AM | Vera Dedyulya (Administrator)

    The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, today announced that the President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, will visit Canada from July 1 to 3, 2019. The two leaders will meet in Toronto on July 2, 2019, during the Ukraine Reform Conference.

    During the meeting, Prime Minister Trudeau will reiterate Canada’s unwavering support for the people of Ukraine and its sovereignty and territorial integrity. The two leaders will discuss Ukraine’s reform efforts on its path to Euro-Atlantic integration, the security situation in the region, and how to further deepen Canada-Ukraine commercial relations.


    “Canada and Ukraine share a deep and historic friendship built on shared values and strong people-to-people bonds. I look forward to my meeting with President Zelenskyy, where I will reaffirm Canada’s commitment to the Ukrainian people, and discuss ways to deepen our economic partnership and create good, middle class jobs in both of our countries.”

    — Rt. Hon. Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada

  • 21 Jun 2019 11:16 AM | Vera Dedyulya (Administrator)

    On June 18, 2019 the National Bank of Ukraine (NBU) announced cancellation of mandatory conversion of foreign currency proceeds into UAH starting from June 20, 2019. This restrictive measure was last introduced in 2012 to stabilize the Ukrainian currency. In the past, the rate of mandatory conversion varied from 50% to 100%.

    The last time it was changed it was reduced to 30% in March 2019 as a part of liberalization of foreign currency control rules. Cancellation of this measure was arguably one of the most expected by the international business community in Ukraine. This step will improve the business climate in Ukraine and increase its attractiveness among international investors.


    Information from the Schneider Group, June 18, 2019

    If you would like more information on the liberalization of currency rules in Ukraine, please feel free to contact the Schneider Group