China's Measures for Protection of Products with Geographical Indications to Take Effect 1 February 2024
On 29 December 2024, the China National Intellectual Property Administration (CNIPA) promulgated the Measures for the Protection of Products with Geographical Indications ("the Measures"), which will take effect on 1 February 2024.
The Measures were formulated in response to the demand of the various sectors of the society for improvement of the existing rules and regulations on the protection of geographical indication (GI) products. In particular, the formulation of the Provisions on the Protection of Products with Geographical Indication ("the Provisions") dated back to 2005, which are lagging behind in the recognition, management and protection of GI products. According to the data released by the State Council of China, as of the end of 2023, China owned 2,508 approved GI products and has authorised 26,000 entities to use special marks for GI.
The CNIPA, with the aim of unifying the current protection system for GI and solving the outstanding issues in practice, developed the Measures on the basis of the Civil Code, the Trademark Law, the Product Quality Law, the Standardization Law, and the Anti-Unfair Competition Law of China.
The Measures comprise 36 articles under seven chapters, namely, General Provisions; Application; Examination and Recognition; GI Product Protection System and Use of Special Mark; Modification and Revocation; Protection and Supervision; and Supplementary Provisions.
Among other key contents, the Measures state that an GI product shall have "authenticity, territoriality, specificity, and relevance", with elaboration on what these requirements refer to (Article 3), and provide the situations where an GI product shall not be recognised (Article 8), as well as clearly establish that the CNIPA shall be responsible for the management and protection of GI products and special marks nationwide, and shall uniformly accept and examine the applications for the protection of GI products and recognise GI products in accordance with law, whereas local IP administrations shall be responsible for the management and protection of GI products and special marks within their respective administrative regions.
Related link: Measures for the Protection of Products with Geographical Indications (Chinese version)