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Protection of geographical indications of the European union

According the provisions of the Association Agreement between the European Union and its Member States, of the one part, and Ukraine, of the other part (Agreement) Ukraine is obliged to protect over 3 thousand of geographical indications that origin from the territory of EU.

The geographical indications listed in Agreement shall be protected against:

(a) any direct or indirect commercial use of a protected name for comparable products which are not compliant with the product’s specification of the protected name, or when such use exploits the reputation of a geographical indication;

(b) any illegal use, imitation or evocation, even if the true origin of the product is indicated or if the protected name is translated, transcripted, transliterated or accompanied with expressions such as "style", "type", "method", "as produced in", "imitation", "flavor", "like", or similar;

(c) any other false or misleading indication as to the provenance, origin, nature or essential qualities of the product, on the inner or outer packaging, in advertising material or documents relating to the product concerned, and on the packing of the product in a container liable to convey a false impression as to its origin;

(d) any other practice liable to mislead the consumer as to the true origin of the product.

According the Article 207 of this Agreement the parties shall enforce the protection of geographical indications by appropriate action by their authorities including at the customs border. They shall also enforce such protection at the request of an interested party.

The Customs code of Ukraine (title ХІV) sets the procedure of assistance for protection of intellectual property rights (IPR) that corresponds to the standards of EU, World Trade Organization and World Customs Organization.

For assistance of IPR protection while goods are moved across the customs border of Ukraine the State Fiscal Service of Ukraine (SFS) in accordance with its functions provides keeping of the customs register of intellectual property items (objects of copyright and related rights, trade marks, inventions, useful models, industrial models, sorts of plants and geographical indications) based on applications of the right holders (the article 398.1 of the Customs code of Ukraine).

The procedure for registration of intellectual property items in the customs register, approved by the Order of Ministry finance of Ukraine № 648 data 30.05.2012 (Order), contains the annex which sets a form of application for assistance of IPR protection.

For providing protection of the geographical indications of EU, applications from the right holders of geographical indications should be submitted to SFS. Also, at presence of permission to use the geographical indications such physical persons and legal entities have a right to submit application to SFS:

-  a group of producer’s representatives of the goods with the geographical indications or representatives of such group;

-  an economic operator that has a right to use the geographical indications;

-  a competent authority which conducts inspections for these geographical indications.

According to the Order an application contains data about a legal owner, object of IPR, goods that contains such object, producers, exporters and importers of original goods, and also, in the presence, information concerning counterfeit goods and persons that move them across the custom border of Ukraine is indicated.

In case of compliance of application and materials to the requirements of Order the registration of corresponding IPR object is carried out in the customs register of intellectual property items.

According to the Order an application for IPR protection is submitted to SFS free of charge.

The geographical indications listed in Annexes XXII-C and XXII-D to Agreement and placed on the official web-portal of State Intellectual Property Service in section "State registers" - "Information of the State register of Ukraine of the names of places of origin and geographical indications of origin of commodities and rights on the use of the registered skilled indications of origin of commodity".