International Symposium on Geographical Indications 2017 Held in China

On 29 June – 1 July 2017, the International Symposium on Geographical Indications 2017 jointly hosted by the State Administration for Industry and Commerce of China (SAIC) and World International Property Organization (WIPO) took place in Yangzhou city of Jiangsu province in China. This was the second time in 10 years that China had co-hosted the symposium. This edition of the symposium brought together around 300 attendees, including experts of the fields and representatives from the relevant authorities, international organisations, and enterprises from over 60 countries and territories.
At the opening of the symposium Mr. Zhang Mao, director of SAIC, delivered a speech. He pointed out that over half of China's geographical indications (GIs) had grown to become pillar industries of regional economies, and mentioned that in order to step up protection for GIs in China, the authorities would focus on facilitating the applications for GIs registration and strengthening the fight against malicious pre-emptive applications for GIs registration.
As of May 2017, China had 3,615 registered GIs, among which 87 were foreign-related, comprising 35 filings from France, 19 from Italy, 14 from the US, 5 from Thailand, 3 from each of the UK and Georgia, and 2 from each of Jamaica, Mexico, Germany, and Spain. Examples of the registered foreign GIs in China included Champagne, Tequila, and Thai Hom Mali Rice.
The symposium is organised every two years by WIPO in conjunction with an interested member state. It provides a forum for discussing the current situation, challenges, and future development of GIs at national and international levels, and offers insights into the use and protection of GIs.