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Revival of traditions, development of tourism: what's the importance of giving dynamics to the process of registering geographical indications

Revival of traditions, development of tourism: what's the importance of giving dynamics to the process of registering geographical indications

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Revival of traditions, development of tourism: what's the importance of giving dynamics to the process of registering geographical indications

Tula gingerbread is not baked in Krasnodar, and Swiss watches are not produced in England. Pavloposad shawls, Dulevo porcelain, "Essentuki" are not only direct associations of goods with specific settlements and countries, but also a national treasure. And besides, these are protected intellectual property objects. In Belarus, only three appellations of origin are registered. An this list does not include famous Slutsk belts. Why? After all, the potential is great: the original Belarusian crafts, dishes, drinks, clothes, shoes... To analyze the situation, the “R” correspondent turned to the National Center for Intellectual Property (NCIP) and found out what changes in the legislation will stimulate businesses to more often declare unique Belarusian products.

Let's try the experience

A bit of an introduction: in Belarus, the old version of the Law “On Geographical Indications” is in force, which provides for the provision of legal protection for “an appellation of origin”. The list of such items, information about which is included in the State Register of Appellations of Origin, includes 32 foreign and three national names: mineral water “Minskaya”, “Lida beer” and “Lida kvass”.

- Both the geographical indication and the name of the place of origin of goods (NPOG) suggest the presence of a qualitative connection between the goods designated by them and the place of their origin. Both of these concepts give the consumer information about the place of origin of the product, qualities, reputation and (or) other characteristics inherent in this product. The main difference between these terms is that the NPOG denotes a stronger relationship between the product and its place of origin. Such a vague separation of concepts does not allow us to define in the law clear criteria for differences between these means of individualization of goods.

Change is coming

In December 2019, amendments to the Law on Geographical Indications were signed. They will come into force in August this year. The NCIP developed a clear mechanism for the registration procedure, determined the competent authority, its obligations as the applicant to cooperate with him, and proposed lowering the rates of patent fees for registering a geographical indication, which many business entities are waiting for.

- The registration procedure is simple. The main task of a business entity is to obtain an opinion from a competent authority. The competent authority is the National Academy of Sciences and all its subordinate organizations - they will issue the conclusions. The applicant must conclude an agreement with this organization, and after receiving its conclusion and paying the fee, the NCIP will conduct a final analysis of all the documents submitted and enter this name in the State Register of Geographical Indications. The subject will receive the right to use the geographical indication for 10 years and will be able to renew it an unlimited number of times,” says Natalya Sinishova.

The NCIP notes that in order to give impetus to the process of registering geographical indications in the country, support from the Government is needed. Local executive authorities, departments of culture, who know more deeply the traditions of their region, may become interested in the development of this topic, which becomes relevant in connection with the announced 2018–2020 years of the Small Homeland. Of course, the registration of geographical indications will preserve, promote the historical, cultural and spiritual heritage.

Slutsk belts are known abroad, tourists buy them and thereby glorify Belarus. However, in order to stimulate the revival of the Slutsk belts, a separate state program was created. Rukhov carpets, Dribin boots, Neglyub towels, Orsha linen, Rahachow condensed milk, Zhorovsky bread, sapropel mud of Sudobl Lake - these are just a small part of potential objects for registration as geographical indications.

We will defend ourselves

The products of large Belarusian enterprises are in great demand in other markets. Those who registered geographical indications, attended to their protection, now have the opportunity to get registration in other countries where they export their products.

Source: newspaper "Respublika"