Country: United Kingdom Of Great Britain & Northern Ireland
Member: European Union Community Trademarks, Madrid Protocol, Trademark Law Treaties, Berne Convention, Madrid Protocol, Wipo, Wto-Trips, Pct, Paris Convention, G 8, G20, Council Of Eurpoe, Oecd, Wto, Commonwealth Of Nation
The IP affairs in UK are looked after by the Intellectual Property Office (IP0)
The Geographical Indications affairs in UK are looked after by the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs.
· GI is a source indicator informing consumers about a product’s origin from a certain place.
· GI confirms certain special characteristics inherent to the product.
There is no specific law on Geographical Indications in UK as yet, hence the following laws are applicable:
· EC Regulations
· Trademarks Law
1. Protected Designations of Origin - PDO
2. Protected Geographical Indications -PGO
GIs are protected as Collective & Certification marks under UK Law.
Geographical Indications are not protectable if:
· They are immoral or against public order;
· GIs likely to mislead the public with respect to the place of origin of the goods;
· Trademarks containing or consisting of GIs 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;
· GIs that indicate the place of origin of use of the wines & spirits originating in a region other than the place of origin
Following can apply for registration of GIs:
· Natural / Legal persons carrying on activities as producers in the defined Geographical Area
· Associations of Producers
· Other competent authorities
Aplications for protection of Gis have to indicate whether they are for certification marks or collective marks.
Applications to be accompanied by :
a). Specifications, denoting:
(i). The goods and/or services being provided by an Association’s membership in the case of collective marks.
(ii). The goods and/or services whose characteristics are being certified in the case of certification marks.
b.) Regulations governing the use of collective & certification marks.
Applications for Collective Marks are to contain:
· Status of the applicant indicating the Association
· Capacity to hold property rights
· Information regarding persons authorised to use the mark
· Conditions of membership of the Association
· Conditions regarding usage of the mark
· Sanctions against misuse of the mark
Applications for Certification Marks are to contain:
· Status & competence of the mark
· Informatin regaring persons authorised to use the mark
· Information regarding characteristics to be certified by the mark
· Explanation as to how the Certifying Body is to test those characteristics & supervise the use of the mark
· Fees if any to be paid in connection with the operation of the mark
· Procedures regarding resolution of disputes
Upon receipt, these applications are then subjected to the following examination:
(i). Initial Examination – of the aplication itself which is an assessment of the mark’s inherent acceptability.
(ii). Examination of the regulation – which governs the use of the certification / collective mark.
(iii). Relative Gounds Examination – wherein a search is undertaken to ascertain existence of the prior certification, collective or ordinary trademarks in the registry’s databse conflicting with the applicant’s mark.
Once the application is found to be compliant with all the formalities and the requisites, it is advertised for objections from interested third parties.
If there is no opposition post filing of the application, or the opposition is unsuccessful, the applicant’s GI is registered.
Only producers registered & carrying on activities within ghe indicated geographical area are allowed to use GI in the course of trade & commerce.