COUNTRY : PEOPLES REPUBLIC OFCHINA
CAPITAL : BEIJING
LANGUAGES : MANDRIN & ENGLISH
MEMBER : PARIS CONVENTION, WTO-TRIPS, BERNE CONVENTION, WIPO
The IP affairs in China are looked after by the State Intellectual Property Office (SIPO)
Role played by Geographical Indications:
· Geographical Indications is a source indicator informing consumers about a product’s origin from a certain place.
· Geographical Indications confirms certain special characteristics inherent to the product.
Applications for registration of Geographical Indications are filed with the Trademark Office at SIPO
Geographical Indications in China are protected by way of the following:
1. Trademark Law
2. The Provisions on the Protection of Geographical Indication Products
3. Measures for Administration of Geographical Indications of Agricultural Products
4. Unfair Competition Law, Product Quality Law, Consumer Rights Law.
The above laws are administered by the following departments:
· The Trademark Office (TMO)
· The State Administration of Quality Supervision Inspection & Quarantine (AQSIQ)
· The Ministry of Agriculture of China (MOA)
Geographical Indications are not protectable if:
· they are immoral or against public order;
· Geographical Indications likely to mislead the public with respect to the place of origin of the goods;
· Trademarks containing or consisting of Geographical Indications likely to cause confusion as to the quality of the goods not originating from the territory indicated;
· They are confusingly similar to a trade mark for which rights had been acquired before the GI is protected in its country of origin;
· Geographical Indications that indicate the place of origin of use of the wines & spirits originating in a region other than the place of origin
under the Trademark Law are protected as:
1. Certification Marks
2. Collective Marks
Applications are to be filed with the TMO.
The following requisites are to be met while filing applications for registration of Geographical Indications:
1. Applications to register certification and collective marks must include the standards and regulations relevant to the use of the mark.
2. Documents along with the application must state the following:
· The goods that the GI will identify
· The relationship between those characteristics and the natural or human factors of the area encompassed by the Geographical Indications.
3. The regulations that govern the use of the mark.
4. The mark’s purpose the quality to which it pertains.
5. Conditions & Procedures for use, rights and obligation entailed by use, liability faced by a user for misuse.
6. Systems in place for inspection and supervision of the goods to which the mark applies.
Following are the kinds of applicants eligible to file applications for registration of Geographical Indications:
(i). Agricultural Industry Associations.
(ii). Farmers Professional Co-operative organisations.
Applications complying with all formal requirements are preliminarily approved by the TMO.
If there is no opposition within 3 months of filing of the application, or the opposition is unsuccessful, the applicant’s Geographical Indication is registered.
All authorised users of Geographical Indications are entitled to use a special representation made available by the State Administration of Industry & Commerce (SAIC).
Certification mark registrants must inform TMO if it allows another party to use its marks.
Collective mark registrants must inform TMO of all changes made in membership.