Russia accedes to the Hague System for the International Registration of Industrial Designs26 May 2017
On April 3 2017 President Vladimir Putin signed the law on ratification of the Geneva Act of the Hague Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Industrial Designs. It has taken Russia 18 years to adopt the international agreement, which was concluded at a diplomatic conference in Geneva in 1999.
Russia signed the final act at the conference, but since then has not completed the domestic procedures necessary to adopt it as an international agreement of the Russian Federation. Now, the agreement has finally been ratified and – after complying with certain formalities (eg, delivering the ratification instrument to the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) International Bureau – Russia will become a party to the Hague System for the International Registration of Industrial Designs. The law on ratification will enter into force on October 1 2017. After this date, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia will notify WIPO of the ratification and within three months the Russian Federation may be designated in international applications for registrations of industrial designs. This can be expected no sooner than January 1 2018.
The law on ratification contains a number of declarations which clarify how Russia will apply the Geneva Act of the Hague Agreement. These include the following:
- Individual fees will be charged for designating Russia as the country where protection is claimed and for any further renewals;
- No deferment of publication will be provided for in Russia – this means that it will not be possible to designate Russia and, at the same time, request deferment of publication of the claimed design;
- The Russian Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) will have 12 months to examine the design and issue a refusal to grant protection, which may be opposed in the same way as in cases of refusal under a national application;
- It will be mandatory to comply with the requirement of unity for industrial designs included in the international application;
- The international registration will become effective in Russia upon sending a decision regarding the grant of protection by the Russian PTO to WIPO;
- Any change in the ownership of the international registration will be valid in Russia only upon submission of the corresponding documents on the right transfer to the Russian PTO;
- The international registration in Russia may be renewed for five-year periods until expiration after 25 years from the date of the international registration;
- Due to the checks for compliance with security requirements, the international application filed through the Russian PTO will be transmitted to WIPO after six months.
The law on ratification contains no declarations – provided for in Articles 5(2)(b)(i) and (ii) of the Geneva Act – on the mandatory indication of an industrial design’s creator or the mandatory brief description of the design’s reproductions and characteristic features in an application.