What is an appellation of origin

National Institute of Intellectual Property

Protected designation of origin (PDO) is a unique object of intellectual property.

According to the Law "On Trademarks, Service Marks and Protected Designation of Origin" (hereinafter -  the Law), the PDO is a designation representing either the name of the country, region, settlement, locality or other geographical indication, as well as an indication derived from of such a name and become known as a result of its use in regard to the goods, special properties, quality, reputation or other characteristics of which are mainly related to its geographic origin, including the specific environment conditions and (or) human factors.

The PDO always points to a specific geographic location, because it is inseparable from a particular geographic location. It is impossible to transfer production of goods from one geographic location to another.

Despite the similarity to the trademarks, the PDO has a number of features, firstly, the designation of the goods must contain an indication that the goods originate from a certain territory, region or locality. In this connection, according to the Law, the names of countries, settlements, localities, including their historical names, as well as the names of other geographic locations, can be registered as PDOs.

Secondly, the feature of the PDO is the relationship between the designation of the product and its special properties, quality, reputation or other characteristics.

The specific properties, quality, reputation or other characteristics of the PDO are exclusively or mainly determined by the natural conditions or human factors typical of a given geographic location or by natural conditions and human factors at the same time.

Natural factors can be due to the characteristics of the soil, climate, water composition, certain humidity and etc.

As an example, we can mention the mineral waters "Saryagash", "Essentuki", "Borjomi", which are extracted from wells and contain a special chemical composition of water.

Special properties related to human factors include cultural, professional and production traditions, i.e. human factors should be understood as the professional skills of local masters. Unfortunately, for today, no one PDO has been registered in the National Register of PDO, special properties of which would be related to the human factors typical for the geographic location.

Examples include the names registered in other countries, namely: "Vologda lace", "Khokhloma painting", "Palekh caskets", "Swedish steel" and "Estonian grand pianos".

Unlike trademarks, the right to use, registered PDO may be possessed not only by the person who applied first, but also by other persons.

In fact, the first applicant establishes certain parameters of product quality, which are recorded in the State Register. A person wishing to use an already registered PDO should ensure the quality of its products, corresponding to the already registered parameters.

The law does not allow the registration of PDO signs that are names of geographic locations that are capable of misleading about the place of production of goods, formally indicating the true place of production of goods, but giving the erroneous idea that the goods originate from another territory containing the names of geographic locations, not connected with the place of production of goods.

The law does not recognize the PDO designation, although it represents and contains the name of a geographic location, but entered into the Republic of Kazakhstan for general use, as the designation of a commodity of a known kind, not related to the place of its manufacture. I.e. it is a designation that has lost its original ability to be the indication of the places of actual origin of the goods for the consumer and the more to be the designation that indicates its special properties. This is usually due to the widespread use of the protected designation of origin, which practically leads to a loss of connection with the geographical name of the place of production. For example, well-known designations like "Swiss cheese", "Brazilian coffee", "Zhigulevskoe beer", "Poltava sausage", "Krakow sausage", "Eau de cologne" have lost their identification with the place of their actual origin and etc.

Unlike trademarks, the specificity of the PDO is that the owners of the right to use the PDO cannot concede to anyone the right to use the PDO and cannot grant licenses for the right to use the PDO.

In order to obtain the right to use the protected designation of origin, it is first necessary to apply to the expert organization.

After registration, the owner of the right to use the designation of origin of the goods has the exclusive right to use it, which is certified by an extract from the State Register of the PDO.

The extension of the validity period for the use of the PDO for every 10 years is subject to the preservation of the special properties of the product, its quality and other characteristics.