Minnakhmetov to pour 'Russian Vodka': Tatspirtprom requests patent to export 'Russkaya Valyuta'

Tatspirtprom is being tested for compliance with the production technology of the classic recipe of Russian Vodka

Tatspirtprom (TSP) has submitted an application to Rospatent for granting the exclusive right to the geographical indication Russian Vodka, which will be additionally indicated on the labels as the compliance of Tatarstan vodka with the authentic recipe of the strong drink. Today Rospatent allowed to specify the geographical name to 16 Russian alcohol producers — Moscow Distillery Crystal, Rosspirtprom, Siberian Vodka Company and others. The sudden interest of TSP in obtaining the certificate for Russian Vodka is associated with the export of vodka Russkaya Valyuta, which with the ''Russian passport'' will go better, said Vadim Drobiz, the director of CIFFRA (Centre for Federal and Regional Alcohol Market Research). Read the details in the material of Realnoe Vremya.

Tatspirtprom requests Russian Vodka

The fact that Tatspirtprom has filed an application to the Federal service for intellectual property (Rospatent) to grant the exclusive right to the previously registered name of the geographical indication Russian Vodka was said by the head of Rospatent, Grigory Ivliev, during his recent speech in Kazan. According to him, the register of Rospatent today includes more than 180 exclusive goods registered as appellations of origin. ''However, there are only two regional brands from Tatarstan: mineral water Menzelinskaya and Raifa Istochnik,'' he said, adding that the application for the trademark Kukmor Valenki is being under registration process.

But there is also a reverse process, when Tatarstan producers, on the contrary, ''get hooked'' on the Russian GI. According to Ivliev, the application for the provision of Russian Vodka GI is currently being considered. As explained in the Federal service for intellectual property, the corresponding appeal from Tatspirtprom came to them on January 16, and so far the certificate for Russian Vodka GI is not issued. ''The application is being at the stage of formal examination, that is, the correctness of its registration is checked. It is published on the website in open access in the section ''Open registers'','' reported in the press-service of the agency.

In order to avoid confusion, Rospatent clarified that it is not about the claims of TSP on the Russian trademark, but only the right to indicate on the labels of the bottle the geographical name ''Russian vodka''.

Grigory Ivliev said that the register of Rospatent today includes more than 180 exclusive goods registered as appellations of origin. Photo: fips.ru

Vodka has no nationality, but requires compliance with the recipe

Russian Vodka GI is the most famous in the world Russian name of the place of origin of the good. As explained in the FCP Soyuzplodoimport, vodka is a traditional Russian alcoholic beverage with special properties, inextricably linked with Russian traditions. Therefore, the designation ''Russian vodka'' in 2003 received protection in the Russian Federation as the name of the place of origin of the good, and the first certificate for the right to use Russian Vodka GI has been just received by Soyuzplodoimport.

According to the head of the department of counteraction to infringements in sphere of intellectual property FKP Sojuzplodoimport Aleksey Rybalo, the assignment of the right to use appellation of origin ''Russian vodka'' is that it confirms the authenticity of the produced vodka, that is consistent with the classic recipe listed in the state certificate of Russian vodka. Eexperts of Rosalkogolregulirovanie conduct preliminary checking the produced vodka on their chemical and physical properties, their compliance with the characteristics specified in the certificate. ''It's like a document on quality Russian vodka,'' Rybalo explains. In other words, a passport confirming Russian ''citizenship''. After that, the manufacturer can safely mark his vodka under various trademarks with the additional label ''Russian vodka'', which strongly influences the foreign consumer.

According to Rospatent, now its register includes 16 existing producers of vodka having permission to use this name. Among them, popular Russian vodka producers such as Moscow Distillery Crystal, Rosspirtprom and less known — such as Khlebnaya Sleza, Urzhum distillery plant. Each of them received permits (certificates) for a period of 10 years. ''After receiving the certificate, the TSP will obtain the right to label any of its vodka in compliance with the technology of 'Russian vodka','' said Aleksey Rybalo.

We are not talking about the claims of TSP on the Russian trademark, but only the right to indicate on the labels of the bottle geographical name ''Russian vodka''. Photo: fcinfo.ru

Let us remind that TSP developed also purely national premium brands Khanskaya and Staraya Kazan, and went to the mass segment with the trademarks Grad Ledoff, as well as Tundra and Russkaya Valyuta. At the end of 2018, TSP produced 8840,8 thousand dal of vodka or 103% to the level of 2017. Out of these, almost 90% were spilled under its own brands of TSP. In Tatspirtprom, we were told that they are not planning to pour the drink under the brand name ''Russian vodka''.

Russian Vodka is trusted more than the name on the label

''Russian Vodka GI is taken by TSP as a geographical concept for export purposes, to support export supplies,'' said the director of the centre for the study of Federal and regional alcohol markets (CIFFRA) Vadim Drobiz. ''It is very good that TSP also wants to produce Russian vodka,'' he was delighted. ''After all, by and large, vodka has no nationality within Russia – it does not matter whether it is Tatar or not Tatar. Russian vodka is a brand that is now they are trying to protect in the world market. At least in Europe. Most likely, it is necessary to expand exports. If their vodka (we are talking about the Russkaya Valyuta – editor's note) will meet the indicators of Russian Vodka, they will be able to safely indicate this on the label of bottles that are exported.''

Drobiz stressed that the Russian vodka market is no longer growing. ''It was at the peak of its growth in 2017. Already in 2018, the market began to decline and will continue to decline in the coming years, because consumers are becoming less,'' he outlined a negative trend for the manufacturers.

Besides, the brand ''Russian vodka'' itself gives small sales in Russia, as it is, in fact, state and it is difficult to compete with private traders.

''TSP needs the marketing label solely in the interests of export,'' said Vadim Drobiz. Photo: nacexpert.ru

Such marketing steps were taken by ''Russian standard'' Rustam Tariko and Ladoga holding. We will add that in the past year, TSP expected to increase export of alcohol to 15,000 dal, but in 2017 accounted for about 5% of the total export of Russian vodka in the United States, supplying 13,000 dal of vodka Russian Value Platinum, reported in the company. Now Russian Value Platinum is sold in several states — Texas, Illinois, Georgia and Oklahoma, the sales have been announced in New Jersey, California and Florida.

By Luiza Ignatyeva