ЗАКОН РЕСПУБЛИКИ БЕЛАРУСЬ

Law of the Republic of Belarus

July 17, 2002 No 127-Z

[Amended as of July 9, 2012]

On Geographic Indications

 

The present Law regulates the relations arising in connection with the legal protection and use of the geographic indications.

Article 1. Main Terms Used in the present Law and their Definitions

1. Geographic indication—a designation that identifies the good as originating in the territory of a country or in a region or locality in this territory where  certain quality, reputation or other properties of the good are considerably connected with its geographic origin.

The term "geographic indication" includes the terms "appellation of origin of the good" and "indication of source of the good".

2. The appellation of origin of the good to which legal protection is granted—a designation representing or containing a modern or historic official or unofficial name of a geographic object, and also a designation derived from such a name and which became known as a result of its use in relation to the good specific properties of which are determined, exclusively or essentially, by the natural conditions and/or human factors typical for this geographical object.

The said provisions are applied to a designation which allows to identify the good as originating in the territory of a certain geographic object and, although does not contain the name of this object, became known as of its use in relation to the good specific properties of which meet the requirements specified in part one of this clause.

As an appellation of origin of the good is not recognized a designation, although representing the name of a geographic object or containing the name of a geographic object, which is commonly used in the Republic of Belarus as a designation of the good of a certain type, not related to the place of its fabrication.

3. The indication of source of the good— a designation that is directly or indirectly indicating the place of actual origin or fabrication of the good.

The indication of source of the good may be presented as the name of geographic object or as the image.

4. [Excluded]

5. The application to registration and granting the right to use the appellation of origin of the good—a complete set of documents necessary for registration and granting the right to use the appellation of origin of the good or for granting the right to use the appellation of origin of the good, that is already registered.

6. Applicant—a natural or legal person or a group of persons that have submitted the application.

7. A competent body—a state body authorized by the Council of Ministers of Republic of Belarus to establish the borders of a geographic object, where the good is produced, specific properties of which are determined exclusively or essentially by the natural conditions and/or human factors typical for this geographic object, and also to give a conclusion about the fact that the applicant produces the said good in the territory of the given geographic object.

8. The certificate on right to use the appellation of origin of the good—a document certifying the exclusive right of its owner to use the appellation of origin of the good.

Article 2. Granting the Legal Protection to the Geographic Indications

1 .The legal protection of the appellation of origin of the good in the Republic of Belarus is granted on the basis of its registration in the state institution “National Center of Intellectual Property” (later on – the patent body) in the order established by the present Law or by virtue of treaties of the Republic of Belarus.  The certificate for the right to use the appellation of origin of the good is issued on the basis of registration.

2. The name of appellation of origin of the good may be registered jointly by several persons designation indicator of the good produced by them in the territory of a certain geographic object, specific properties of which are determined exclusively or essentially by the natural conditions and/or human factors typical for this geographic object.  The right to use the appellation of origin of the good belongs to each of them.

The right to use the appellation of origin of the good registered in the established order may be granted to any legal or natural person being in the same geographic object and producing the good with the same properties.

3. The legal protection of the indication of source of the good is carried out on the basis of use of this indication.

The legal protection of the indication of source of the good consists in preventing the use of false (counterfeited) indications of source of the good and also of indications misleading the consumers in relation to the real source of the good.

The indication of source of the good is not subject to the state registration.

Article 3. The Scope of Legal Protection of Geographic Indications

1. In the Republic of Belarus the legal protection is granted to a geographic indication located in the territory of the Republic of Belarus.

2. The legal protection of the appellation of origin of the good, located in another state, is granted in the Republic of Belarus, if this appellation of origin of the good is registered in the country of origin of the good and in the Republic of Belarus in accordance with the legislation.

3. The legal protection of indication of source of the good located in another state is granted in the Republic of Belarus, if such indication is used in the country of origin of the good.

Article 4. Request for Registration and Granting the Right to Use the Appellation of Origin of the Good

1. The request for registration and granting the right to use the appellation of origin of the good (hereinafter—the application) is submitted to the patent body by the applicant (applicants) himself (themselves) or through a patent attorney registered in the patent body.

2. [Excluded]

3. The request must refer only to one appellation of origin of the good.

4. The request must contain:

4.1. an application for registration and granting the right to use the appellation of origin of the good or on granting the right to use the appellation of origin of the good, that is already registered, with indication of the applicant (applicants) and also his (their) place of location or place of residence;

4.2. requested designation;

4.3. indication of the good for designation of which the registration and granting the right to use the appellation of origin of the good or granting the right to use the appellation of origin of the good, that is already registered, is asked, with indication of the place of its production (the boundaries of the geographic object);

4.4. description of the specific properties of the good.

5. The request must be accompanied:

5.1. for a national applicant (natural or legal person of the Republic of Belarus) — by a conclusion of the competent body about the fact that the applicant produces in the territory of the mentioned geographic object the good, specific properties of which are determined exclusively or essentially by the natural conditions and/or human factors typical for this geographic object;

5.2. for a foreign applicant—a document confirming his right to use the requested of appellation of origin of the good in the country of origin of the good;

5.3. a document confirming the payment of the patent duty in the established amount.

6. The date of submitting the request to the patent body is established on the date of in-coming of documents provided by clause 4 of this Article, and if the mentioned documents are presented at different times—on the date of in-coming of the last of the documents presented.

7. Requirements for the documents of the request are established by the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Belarus.

Article 5. Expert Examination of the Request

1. Expert examination of the request is carried out by the patent body and includes the preliminary expert examination and expert examination of the requested designation, conducted in accordance with the present Law and rules established by the patent body.

2. In the period of conducting the expert examination of the request till taking the decision on it, the applicant is entitled to amend, specify or correct the materials that do not change the essence of the request.

If additional materials change the request in essence, these materials are not accepted for consideration and may be registered by the applicant as a separate request.

3. If submitted documents or data contained in them don’t conform to the established requirements, the patent body directs a query to the applicant with proposal to submit materials correctly drawn up within a two-month period from the date of receipt of the query.  Upon a petition of the applicant this term may be prolonged, but not more than for twelve months providing that the petition has arrived before the expiry of this period.  If the applicant doesn’t submit, within the specified period, requested materials or petition on prolonging of the established period, there is taken a decision on refusal of registration of the appellation of origin of the good and giving the right to use it or on refusal of giving the right to use the appellation of origin of the good, which has been already registered, on which the applicant shall be informed.

4. The applicant can recall the request at any stage of its consideration.

5. The preliminary expert examination of the request is conducted within three months form the date of its submission.

In the course of preliminary expert examination of the request the content of the request, availability of the necessary documents, observance of the requirements established for them, payment of the patent duty are checked.

According to the results of the preliminary expert examination the application is accepted for consideration on which the applicant shall be informed.

6. Upon acceptance of the application for consideration in accordance with clause 6 of Article 4 of the present Law, the date of submission of the request shall be established.

7. Concerning a request accepted for consideration, an expert examination of the requested designation is carried out, in the course of which a compliance of the requested designation with requirements of clause 2 of Article 1 of the present Law is established.

It is not allowed to register an appellation of origin of the good, which is capable to mislead the consumer about the place of production of the good and/or its specific properties.

8. According to the results of expert examination, the patent body takes one of the following decisions on:

registration of the appellation of origin of the good and granting the right to use it;

refusal to register the appellation of origin of the good and to grant the right to use it;

grant the right to use the appellation of origin of the good, which is already registered;

refusal to grant the right to use the appellation of origin of the good, which is already registered.

Article 6. Appealing the Decision on Request

1. If the applicant does not agree with the decision of the preliminary expert examination or expert examination of the requested designation, he is entitled to submit the appeal within one year from the date of receipt of the decision to the Appeal Council at the patent body (hereinafter— the Appeal Council).

2. The complaint must be considered within one month from the date of its receipt by the Appeal Council. The order of consideration of complaints by the Appeal Council is established by the patent body.

3. The decision of the Appeal Council may be appealed by the applicant to the Supreme Court of the Republic of Belarus within 6 months from the date of receipt of the decision.

Article 7. Registration of the Appellation of Origin of the Good and Issue of the Certificate on Right to Use the Appellation of Origin of the Good

1. On the basis of the decision of the expert examination the patent body conducts the registration of the appellation of origin of the good in the State Register of Appellations of Origin of Goods of the Republic of Belarus (hereinafter—the Register). The data related to the registration and granting the right to use the appellation of origin of the good and also subsequent changes of these data are to be introduced in the Register. The composition of the data is determined by the patent body.

2. The issue of the certificate for the right to use the appellation of origin of the good (hereinafter—the certificate) is made by the patent body after the registration of the appellation of origin of the good in the Register subject to payment of the established patent duty.

3. The form of the certificate and the composition of the data specified in it is established by the patent body.

Article 8. The Term of Validity of the Certificate

1. The certificate is valid within 10 years from the date of submitting the application to the patent body.

2. The term of validity of the certificate may be prolonged upon an application of its owner submitted within the last year of validity of the certificate for 10 years upon existence of the conditions giving the right to use the appellation of origin of the good. The prolongation is possible unlimited number of times.

3. Upon a petition of the owner of the certificate for the prolongation of the term of validity of the certificate, he may be granted a six-month term after the expiry of the term of validity of the certificate, subject to payment of the patent duty.

4. The note on prolongation of the term of validity of the certificate is introduced by the patent body to the Register. Upon the wish of the owner of the certificate, the same note is introduced into the certificate.

5. The application for prolongation of the term of validity of the certificate must be accompanied:

5.1. for the owner of the certificate—natural or legal person of the Republic of Belarus— by a conclusion of the competent body about the fact that the owner produces in the territory of the given geographic object the good with properties specified in the certificate;

5.2. for a foreign applicant—a document confirming his right to use the appellation of origin of the good in the country of origin of the good;

5.3. a document confirming the payment of the patent duty in the established amount.

Article 9. Introduction of Changes into the Register and the Certificate

1. The owner of the certificate notifies the patent body about changes of his name, first name and patronymic, and also on other changes related to registration and granting the right to use the appellation of origin of the good.

2. The note on changes is introduced into the Register and upon a petition of the owner of the certificate—into the certificate, subject to payment of the patent duty.

3. The patent body may, on its initiative, introduce into the Register the corrections of grammar and other obvious mistakes. Upon a petition of the owner of the certificate the changes are introduced into the certificate.

Article 10. Publication of the Data on Registration and Granting the Right to Use the Appellation of Origin of the Good

The data relating to the registration and granting the right to use the appellation of origin of the good and introduced into the Register are published by the patent body in its official bulletin.

Article 11. Registration of the Appellation of Origin of the Good in Foreign States

1. Legal and natural persons of the Republic of Belarus are entitled to register the appellation of origin of the good in foreign states.

2. Submission of the request for registration of the appellation of origin of the good in foreign states is conducted after its registration and reception of the right to use this appellation of origin of the good in the Republic of Belarus.

Article 12. [Excluded]

Article 13. Use of Geographic Indications

1. The use of a geographic indication is deemed to be its application on the good, packing, in advertisement, prospects, bills, and also otherwise in connection to the introduction of the good into civil circulation.

2. The use of a registered appellation of origin of the good by persons not having the certificate, even if a true place of origin of the good or the appellation is used in translation or in composition with such expressions as "kind", "sort", "type", "style", "imitation" and likewise, and also the use of similar designation for any goods, capable to mislead the consumer concerning the place of origin and specific properties of the good are not allowed.

3. A person having used bona fide the name of a geographic object, equal or similar to the registered appellation of origin of the good not less than before six months prior to the date of its first registration, keeps the right to its further use within the term established by the patent body but not more than two years from the date of the mentioned registration.

4. Concession of the right to use a geographic indication and granting the right to use it on the basis of a license are not allowed.

Article 14. Warning Marking

The owner of the certificate may put alongside the appellation of origin of the good a warning mark in the form of a Latin letter R or R in a circle – ® or of words – "the appellation of origin of the good" or "registered appellation of origin of the good" indicating that the applied designation is the appellation of origin of the good, registered in the Republic of Belarus.

Article 15. Recognition of the Registration of the Appellation of Origin of the Good and the Certificate Invalid

1. Registration of the appellation of origin of the good may be recognized invalid, if it has been conducted with the infringement of the requirements established by the present Law.

2. The certificate may be recognized invalid, if it has been issued with the infringement of the requirements established by the present Law.

3. Any person may submit an objection to the Appeal Council against:

registration of the appellation of origin of the good;

issue of the certificate on the right to use the appellation of origin of the good.

The order of consideration of the objections is established by the patent body.

The decision of the Appeal Council may be appealed to the Supreme Court of the Republic of Belarus within six months from the date of its reception.

Article 16. Termination of the Validity of Registration of the Appellation of Origin of the Good and the Certificate

1. The effect of the registration of the appellation of origin of the good may be terminated in connection with the disappearance of the conditions typical for the given geographic object and impossibility of production of the good with properties specified in the Register.

2. The effect of registration of the appellation of origin of the good on behalf of a foreign legal or natural person may be terminated also in connection with their loss of the right to the given appellation of origin of the good in the country of the good’s origin.

3. The effect of the certificate may be terminated:

3.1. in connection with the loss by the good of specific properties specified in the Register in relation to the given appellation of origin of the good;

3.2. in connection with the termination of the effect of registration of the appellation of origin of the good;

3.3. in case of the death of the natural person – owner of the certificate – in the absence of a successor, and in case of liquidation of the legal person – owner of the certificate – on the basis of the application of any person submitted to the patent body;

3.4. on the basis of the application submitted to the patent body by the owner of the certificate.

4. Any person, on the grounds provided by clauses 1, 2 and sub-clause 3.1 of clause 3 of the present article may submit an application on termination of the effect of registration of the appellation of origin of the good and the certificate to the Appeal Council.  The order of consideration of applications by the Appeal Council is established by the patent body.

The decision of the Appeal Council may be appealed to the Supreme Court of the Republic of Belarus within six months from the date of its reception.

5. Registration of the appellation of origin of the good and the certificate are annulled by the patent body in case of recognition of them invalid, and also on the grounds determined by clauses 1, 2 and 3 of the present Article.

Article 17. The Patent Body

The patent body takes for consideration the requests for registration of the appellations of origin of the good, conducts an expert examination on them, conducts the State Register of Appellations of Origin of Goods of the Republic of Belarus, issues the certificates valid in all the territory of the Republic of Belarus, within the limits of its powers carries out the control over observance of the legislation in the sphere of protection of geographic indications, generalizes the practice and gives explanations on its application, renders methodological assistance on the mentioned questions and services to the persons interested.

Article 18. Liability for the Infringement of Legislation on Geographic Indications

1. A person making warning marking in relation to a not-registered appellation of origin of the good, bears liability in accordance with the legislation of the Republic of Belarus.

2. A person having the right to use the geographic indication is entitled to demand from anybody who illegally uses this indication to stop such use, its elimination from the good, its packing, blanks and other documentation of the illegally used geographic name or designation similar to it to the extent of confusion, elimination of fabricated images of the geographic name or designation similar to it to the extent of confusion, and if it is impossible – seizure and destruction of the good and/or packages.

A person having the right to use the geographic name is entitled to demand from the infringer of this right to compensate the damages incurred.

Article 19. Consideration of the Disputes Connected With the Infringement of the Legislation on Geographic Indications

Disputes connected with the infringement of legislation on geographic indications are considered by the Appeal Council and the Supreme Court of the Republic of Belarus in accordance with its competence.

Article 20. Treaties

If a treaty of the Republic of Belarus ratified and entered into force establishes other rules than those contained in the present Law, the rules of the treaty are applied

Article 21. Rights of Foreign Citizens, Stateless Persons and Foreign Legal Persons

Foreign citizens, stateless persons, and foreign legal persons have rights provided by the present Law, other acts of legislation of the Republic of Belarus in the sphere of protection of geographic indications and bear liability equally to the citizens and legal persons of the Republic of Belarus, unless otherwise determined by the legislative acts of the Republic of Belarus and treaties.

Article 22. Entry of the Present Law into Force

1.The present Law enters into force after six months from the day of its official publication except for Article 23.

2. Article 23 of the present Law enters into force from the day of its official publication.

3. Prior to bringing the legislation of the Republic of Belarus in compliance with the present Law, the normative legal acts of the Republic of Belarus are applied in that part in which they do not contradict the present Law, unless otherwise established by the Constitution of the Republic of Belarus.

Article 23. Bringing Legislative Acts of the Republic of Belarus in Compliance with the Present Law

The Council of Ministers of the Republic of Belarus, within a six-month term from the day of publication of the present Law, shall:

prepare and introduce in the established order to the House of Representatives of the National Assembly of the Republic of Belarus suggestions on bringing acts of legislation in accordance with the present Law;

bring the decisions of Government of the Republic of Belarus in accordance with the present Law;

ensure revision and abolishment by republican bodies of state administration subordinated to the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Belarus of their normative legal acts contradicting the present Law;

ensure the adoption of the normative legal acts necessary for implementation of the present Law.

 

President of the Republic of Belarus

A. Lukashenko

 

* unofficial translation *