One of the key objectives of exhibitions is to show the latest products, inventions, utility models and original trademarks.
However, this leads to a disclosure of the essence of inventions, utility models, industrial designs and trademarks.
1883 saw the adoption of the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property, Article 11 of which reads that the countries that have acceded to the Convention shall grant, in compliance with their domestic legislation, temporary protection to patentable inventions, utility models, industrial designs and trademarks, in respect of goods exhibited at official or officially recognized international exhibitions held in the territory of any of them.
Being a legal successor of USSR, Russia is a member of the Paris Convention since 1 July 1965.
According to the Russian legislation (Articles 1350-1352 of the Civil Code of the Russian Federation) inventions, utility models and industrial designs can be granted ‘exception to lack of novelty’, which means that public disclosure of information related to the essence of these intellectual property items by the author of the invention, the applicant or any other person who has received this information from them directly or indirectly will not destroy the novelty of these IP items if the application is filed to the national patent office within 6 months of the date of disclosure. And the burden of proof that the disclosure does not destroy patentability of the industrial property rests with the applicant.
In compliance with Article 1495 of the Civil Code of the Russian Federation, trademarks and service marks shown on exhibits at the official and officially recognized international exhibitions running in any country-member of the Paris Convention can be granted exhibition (convention) priority which is determined from the date when these trade and service marks were first disclosed to the public and given that the application for registration of the said trade and service marks is filed within 6 months from the disclosure date.
The fact of demonstration of an exhibit or a trademark at an exhibition can be confirmed by the administration of the exhibition who can, upon request from the exhibitor, issue a special certificate of demonstration.
To obtain the said certificate of demonstration of an exhibit or a trademark at the exhibitions organized by Expocentre the exhibitor needs to know the procedure of applying for it. This information is available from Expocentre’s website.
We also recommend you to seek advice from a patent attorney when preparing the description of an exhibit. A list of consulting companies (patent attorneys and customs lawyers) specializing in this field is also available on the website.
The certificate of demonstration of an exhibit at an exhibition (for inventions, utility models and industrial designs) will be obtainable at all exhibitions organized by Expocentre AO.
The certificate of demonstration of a trademark at an exhibition will be only obtainable at the officially recognized exhibitions organized by Expocentre AO.
In 2013, Expocentre AO has launched an additional service that is to provide exhibitors with certificates confirming demonstration at Expocentre’s exhibitions of exhibits - goods and services (documentation) - bearing trademarks that have already been registered within the Russian Federation. This service has been designed to expand the ways of proving fair use of registered trademarks by law-abiding holders of trademark rights within the Russian Federation.
In compliance with article 1486 of the Civil Code of the Russian Federation, a trademark registered in the Russian Federation shall be used either by the owner of the rights or by another party acting under a license from the owner of the rights. Otherwise, if the trademark has not been used by the owner of the rights for more than any three years from the date of its official registration, any interested party is entitled to file a request for early termination of the owner’s rights for the said registered trademark.
This issue is crucial for internationally registered trademarks valid within the Russian Federation, as in their case the registration date is considered to be the date of applying for registration of the said trademarks. In consequence, the period for the owners of the rights to start using these trademarks in Russia without the risk of early termination of their rights becomes considerably shorter (approximately 10-12 months shorter compared to the period provided by the Russian national registration).
Therefore, if disputes arise, the bona fide owners of IP rights will have, at least, a chance of proving their intentions to use trademarks fully and properly within the Russian Federation that is by offering to sell and selling their goods and/or services. Moreover, according to the provisions of article 1484 of the Civil Code of the Russian Federation, the demonstration of goods and services bearing registered trademarks at exhibitions and trade fairs is considered a separate way of using trademarks.
For more details, please contact specialists of the Legal Department of Expocentre AO:
Andrei K. Bayshev, lawyer - +7 (499) 256-62-55;
Roman M. Tushchenko, lawyer - +7 (499) 795-37-40.