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Geographical indication (GI) is a designation which identifies a
product as originating from a particular geographical area, if the quality, reputation or other characteristics of the product are largely due to its geographical origin. The concept of "geographical indication" includes the concept of "appellation of origin".
An appellation of origin (AO) is a designation representing or containing a modern or historical, official or unofficial, full or abbreviated name of a geographical object, as well as a designation derived from such name and made known as a result of its use in respect of goods whose special properties are exclusively or mainly determined by the natural conditions and (or) human factors characteristic of the geographical object in question.
The list of AO/GI registered in the Republic of Belarus see here.
In the Republic of Belarus legal protection of a geographical indication is granted on the basis of its registration with the patent authority - the National Center of Intellectual Property.
Registration of the geographical indication, which may mislead the consumer about the place of production of goods and (or) its special properties is not allowed.
A certificate of right to use a geographical indication is issued on the basis of registration. The certificate for the right to use a geographical indication is valid for ten years counting from the date of filing the application with the patent authority. The term of validity of the certificate may be extended an unlimited number of times, each time for ten years.
The right to use a registered geographical indication may be granted to any natural and/or legal person (person), association of persons producing on the territory of the same geographical object similar goods with the same properties, quality, reputation or other characteristics.
Assignment of the right to use a geographical indication and granting the right to use it on the basis of a license is not allowed.
An infringement of the exclusive right to a geographical indication is the use by persons who have not been granted the right to use that geographical indication of a designation which is identical or confusingly similar to that geographical indication, to individualize goods which are similar to the goods in respect of which the geographical indication is registered, as well as to individualize heterogeneous goods, if the use of such designation is able to mislead the consumer
about the place of production (origin), special properties, quality, reputation or other characteristics of the goods, largely due to its geographical origin, natural conditions characteristic of the geographical area and (or) human factors, including when using geographical indication in translation or combination with the words "sort", "kind", "type", "style", "mark", "imitation", "method", "as produced in", "similar", "analogous" and the like.
Warning marking. The holder of the certificate may place near the geographical indication a warning marking in the form of the Latin letter R or R in a circle - (R) or verbal designations - "geographical indication" or "registered geographical indication", indicating that the applied designation is a geographical indication registered in the Republic of Belarus.
A holder of the right to use a geographical indication shall have the right to demand the removal from counterfeit goods, labels, packages of goods of the illegally applied designation which is identical with or confusingly similar to the geographical indication, and if it is impossible to remove - seizure from civil turnover and destruction of counterfeit goods, labels, packages of goods.
A person who has the right to use a geographical indication has the right to demand from the infringer of that right compensation for the losses incurred or the payment of compensation.
Relationship between geographical indications and trademarks
According to the Law of the Republic of Belarus “On Trademarks and Service Marks” no designations may be registered as trademarks if they are identical with or confusingly similar to geographical indications protected in the Republic of Belarus or filed for registration as such and having earlier priority, except where geographical indications or designations confusingly similar to them are incorporated as unprotected elements in a trademark registered in the name of a person having the exclusive right to such geographical indication, if the registration of the trademark is sought for those very goods for the individualization of which the geographical indication is registered.