Question 1: Can companies and farmers' professional cooperatives be used as geographical indication trademark applicants?
Geographical indications belong to regional public resources. The registrant of a geographical indication trademark shall be a local non-profit organization, association or other organization, generally a social organization legal person, a public institution legal person, and its business scope is related to the geographical indication products it supervises.
The applicant for a geographical indication must be authorized by the people's government at or above the county level or the competent department of the industry in the area indicated by the geographical indication to apply for registration and supervise the administration of the geographical indication.
The specific user of a geographical indication trademark must be the producer or operator from the region indicated by the geographical indication.
Question 2: I want to apply for the geographical indication trademark of "Gaolaozhuang Watermelon". Gaolaozhuang is a town name in our county. Can the government of Gaolaozhuang issue an authorization document?
Where a geographical indication belongs to a regional public resource, the applicant shall submit the document that the people's government at or above the county level or the competent department of the industry in the area indicated by the geographical indication agrees with the applicant's application for registration and supervises the administration of the geographical indication.
In view of the fact that the establishment of the competent departments in various industries is not uniform, in order to avoid the stability of the authorization of the competent departments caused by institutional adjustment and personnel turnover, it is recommended that the authorization should be given by the people's government at or above the county level in the area indicated by the geographical indications.
Question 3: I want to apply for the geographical indication trademark of "Gaolaozhuang Watermelon". When filling in the application for trademark registration, can I fill in "fresh fruit" in the column of commodity items?
As geographical indications have specific qualities, they should generally point to specific commodities of Danyi. Therefore, the designated commodities of geographical indication trademarks cannot be generally expressed as the general name of a certain class of commodities, such as live animals, fresh fruits, traditional Chinese medicine, cereal products, etc.
For example, if the geographical indication trademark is "Rizhao Green Tea", the designated commodity shall be "Green Tea"; The geographical indication trademark quoted is "Dongtai Watermelon", and the designated commodity shall be "watermelon (fresh fruit)".
Due to China's vast territory and abundant resources, many products have regional or national characteristics. When these products are applied as geographical indication trademarks, the designated goods can be either specific single commodity names included in the trademarks or commonly used single commodity names.
For example, the geographical indication trademark quoted is "Huangmei Tiaohua", and the designated commodity can be either "Tiaohua" or "Silk Art".
Question 4: Can we apply for the geographical indication trademark of "Hongqi Selenium enriched Loquat"?
Selenium is a trace element beneficial to human body. After study, the Trademark Office has decided to preliminarily examine and approve the geographical indication trademark application containing "selenium" or "selenium rich" words, which meets the following conditions:
(I) The production area of the designated commodity is located in the natural soil selenium or selenium rich area determined by the state;
（2） The national standards or industry standards have specified the selenium or selenium rich content of the designated commodities;
（3） The use management rules specify the use of commodity quality characteristics to express that there is a clear indicator of selenium or selenium rich content in line with national standards or industry standards, and clearly state that the designated commodity containing "selenium" or "selenium rich" is absorbed from natural soil during the growth process.
As for the geographical indication trademark containing "selenium" or "selenium rich" that is designated to be used on the national or industrial standard goods that do not contain "selenium" or "selenium rich", and the geographical indication trademark containing "selenium" or "selenium rich" that is designated to be used on the goods that contain "selenium" or "selenium rich" local standards or enterprise standards, because the selenium content cannot be unified, in order to ensure the specific quality of the geographical indication goods and maintain the reputation of the geographical indication trademark, Better guide consumption and ensure food safety, and reject according to law on the grounds of "easily causing consumers to misunderstand commodity raw materials or quality characteristics".
At present, only "rice" and "tea" have clear industrial standards for selenium enrichment. Therefore, "Hongqi Selenium enriched Loquat" cannot be approved as a geographical indication trademark.
Question 5: Can the internal data be used as evidence of the objective existence and reputation of geographical indications?
The submission of evidentiary materials for the objective existence and reputation of geographical indication products is an important basis for the confirmation of geographical indication rights.
The certification materials include county chronicles, agricultural chronicles, product chronicles, yearbooks, textbooks, national professional journals, etc., which have been published publicly for more than three years. They can be originals, or copies of the cover, copyright page, and content page affixed with the official seal of the issuing unit.
According to Article 15 of the Measures for the Administration of Internal Informative Publications, internal data are strictly limited to the internal communication of the industry, the system and the unit, so they cannot be used as evidence of the objective existence and reputation of geographical indications.
Question 6: The Annals of Laiqu County records that "Laiqu County produces all kinds of subtropical fruits, with citrus, bayberry and plum as the bulk". Can they be used as the evidence for the objective existence and reputation of the geographical indication of "Laiqu bayberry"?
Geographical indications are objectively formed in history, and their manifestation is generally "geographical name+commodity common name". "Laiqu County produces all kinds of subtropical fruits, with citrus, bayberry and plum as the bulk" only indicates that Laiqu County produces bayberry, but it cannot prove the objective existence and reputation of the geographical indication of "Laiqu bayberry".
If the expression in the county annals is "Laiqu bayberry is famous in neighboring provinces and counties, and was identified as one of the provincial bayberry production base counties in the 1950s", it can be used as the evidence of the objective existence and reputation of the geographical indication "Laiqu bayberry".
Question 7: Can the inspection content be stipulated as the inspection of the quality of geographical indication products in the entrusted inspection agreement?
Geographical indications should have specific quality, and the detection of geographical indication commodities should be the detection of their specific quality, not the quality detection.
The applicant for geographical indications shall be an organization that has the ability to supervise and test the commodities of geographical indications reported.
If the applicant has the testing ability, it shall submit the applicant's testing qualification certificate, the list of testing personnel and the list of testing equipment; If they do not have the ability to test, they can entrust an institution with testing qualification to test the specific quality of the geographical indication commodities. The two parties sign an entrusted testing agreement. The agreement must specify that the entrusted testing content is the specific quality of the geographical indication commodities. In addition, the entrusted party's testing qualification certificate, the list of testing personnel and the list of testing equipment should also be submitted. The above materials shall be stamped with the official seal of the issuer.
Question 8: The potatoes in Dongfang Township are very famous. Who should issue the certificate of production area if you want to apply for the geographical indication trademark of "Dongfang Potato"?
Answer: The production area of geographical indication commodities can be determined by historical materials that prove the objective existence and reputation of geographical indications, or by the production area certification documents issued by the people's government or industry competent department in the area indicated by the geographical indication.
Where the geographical indication commodity covers two townships, towns, counties or cities, it shall be issued by the people's government or the competent department of the industry at the joint higher level of the township, town, county or city.
The production area of "Oriental Potato" is in Dongfang Township, and the certificate of its production area can be issued by the people's government of Dongfang Township or its superior government (industry competent department).
Question 9: We applied for a geographical indication and downloaded the model rules for use and management on the official website of the Trademark Office. Article 5 requires that the relationship between geographical indications and the specific natural geographical environment of the production region be indicated. How should this be expressed in a more standardized way?
Answer: The second part of Article 5 of the Rules of Use and Management should conduct a detailed analysis of all aspects of the natural factors of the place of origin that affect the specific quality of geographical indication commodities. It should not only list the natural conditions of the place of origin, such as temperature, light, precipitation, soil, rivers, but also clearly reason out the process of the specific impact of a specific time, a specific environmental factor on a specific quality of products.
Sometimes, it is also possible to combine the impact of the cultural factors of the origin on the specific quality of geographical indication commodities, including the planting area (such as the front and back of the mountain, orientation), the selection of planting season, special production buildings (such as flowing into the mill), and local unique production technology.
In addition, it should also be noted that the origin of each geographical indication has a unique environment that contributes to the formation of the specific quality of the geographical indication. Therefore, the specific quality of geographical indication commodities has different links with the natural factors and human factors of the origin, and cannot be copied.
Question 10. The official website of the Trademark Office provides a template of the rules for the management of the use of collective geographical indications/certification trademarks. Article 6 requires that the specific quality of geographical indication goods be specified. How should this be expressed in a more standard way?
Answer: Specific quality includes the sensory characteristics, quantitative indicators or special production methods of geographical indication commodities.
Sensory features include shape, size, color, texture and other visual features, smell, taste perception and so on.
The quantitative indicators include the biological characteristics such as race and species, physical characteristics such as weight, density and pH, and chemical characteristics such as water, protein, fat and trace element content.
The production method includes the description of processing technology and the quality standard of the final product, such as the feeding process and slaughter method of animal products, the planting process, harvesting practice and storage method of plant products, and the raw materials, ingredients and production process of traditional handicrafts.
To describe the specific quality of geographical indication commodities, we must focus on the commodities designated for use by the geographical indication trademark. For example, "sheep (live animals)" is different from "mutton", "fresh pepper" is different from "pepper (condiment)".
Question 11. Article 14 and Article 15 of the Model Rules for the Administration of the Use of Collective/Certification Marks of Geographical Indications provided on the official website of the Trademark Office involve the rights and obligations of the licensee of geographical indication trademarks. What should be said about "other rights" and "other obligations"?
A: The official website of the Trademark Office provides a model of the administrative rules for the use of collective geographical indications/certification trademarks. The words "other rights" and "other obligations" are intended to remind geographical indication trademark applicants that they can set more rights and obligations for the licensed users of geographical indications according to their own management needs.
If yes, the specific contents of rights and obligations shall be clarified; If not, the words "other rights" and "other obligations" shall be deleted.
Question 12: I want to apply for the geographical indication certification trademark of "Phoenix Preserved Pork", but after inquiry, the trademark of "Phoenix" has been registered on 29 categories of "cured meat". Can "Phoenix Preserved Pork" still be approved for registration?
A: Registration cannot be approved.
As a type of trademark, geographical indication trademark shall comply with Article 30 of the Trademark Law.
When making similarity comparison between geographical indication trademark and ordinary trademark, if the geographical indication trademark is applied later and the ordinary trademark is applied earlier, it is appropriate to approve the registration in combination with the popularity, significance, relevant public cognition and other factors of the collective trademark of geographical indication, which will not easily constitute a perspective of confusion and misunderstanding by the relevant public; If the geographical indication trademark is applied first and the ordinary trademark is applied later, from the perspective that it is easy to cause the relevant public to confuse and misrecognize the source of goods or services, and improperly attach to the popularity of geographical indication trademark, it can be determined that the two constitute similar trademarks, and the registration of ordinary trademarks will not be approved.
Question 13: I am a foreign applicant and want to apply for the registration of geographical indications in China. Do I need to certify the subject qualification certificate and the legal protection certificate of the country of origin?
A: Certification is required.
Authentication refers to the procedure in which the diplomatic and consular authorities of a country prove the authenticity of the last signature or seal of the notary office on the notarial document. China has not yet acceded to the Convention on the Cancellation of the Requirements for Authentication of Foreign Official Documents.
Article 5 of the Regulations for the Implementation of the Trademark Law stipulates that the notarization and certification procedures for the power of attorney of foreigners or foreign enterprises and the relevant supporting documents shall be handled in accordance with the principle of reciprocity.
When a foreign applicant submits an application for a geographical indication trademark in the Trademark Office, it shall submit the relevant materials generated abroad after going through the certification procedures. These materials include: the applicant's subject qualification certificate, the certificate that the geographical indication is legally protected in its name in its country of origin, the certificate that the applicant has obtained the right to supervise and manage the geographical indication, and the certificate of the applicant's inspection ability.
Question 14. Is there a clear quality standard in the management rules for the use of ordinary collective/certification trademarks?
Answer: One must have.
Article 10 of the Measures for the Registration and Administration of Collective Trademarks and Certification Trademarks stipulates that the rules for the administration of the use of collective trademarks shall include the quality of the goods using the collective trademarks; Article 11 stipulates that the rules for the administration of the use of a certification trademark shall include the specific quality of the goods certified by the certification trademark.
The official website of the Trademark Office provides a model of rules for the use and management of ordinary collective/certification trademarks. Article 5 of the rules refers to the quality standards that the collective/certification trademark users should meet for the goods/services they operate. The applicant should approve and clarify the quality standards of each commodity/service they report.
The quality standards of goods or services using the collective trademark specified in the rules for the administration of the use of general collective trademarks can be national standards, industrial standards, local standards, or self determined standards.
The quality standard of the goods or services using the certification trademark specified in the administrative rules for the use of ordinary certification trademark shall be higher than the national standard.
Question 15: We have already registered an ordinary trademark, but now we want to register the registered ordinary trademark as a collective trademark. Is it feasible? Are there any specific requirements?
Answer: Not feasible.
The collective trademark of geographical indications, the certification trademark of geographical indications, the general collective trademark, the general certification trademark and the general trademark are all different types of trademarks, and their use methods, the rights and obligations of the registrant and the user are different.
If the registrant of an ordinary trademark can permit any other subject to use it at will, the user of a collective trademark can only be a member of the collective organization, and its goods or services should meet the quality standards determined in the use management rules.
Therefore, even the same applicant may not register two different types of identical or similar trademarks on the same or similar goods.
If you have already registered an ordinary trademark and want to register this logo as a collective trademark, you must cancel the ordinary trademark previously registered.
Source: Trademark Office of the State Intellectual Property Office
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