China owns 600,000 geographical indication trademarks for agricultural products

China owns 600,000 geographical indication trademarks for agricultural products


According to statistics from the State Administration for Industry and Commerce, at the end of 2008, China had 531 geographical indications and registered 600,000 trademarks for agricultural products.

According to a survey in 2008 by administrative authorities for industry and commerce on 22 geographical indications for cultivated agricultural produce, the average price of agricultural products tripled once registered with a geographical indication trademark. In some cases, the price of the agricultural product rose 28 times.

Just as Wang Binying, assistant director general of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), pointed out, judging from the facts in various countries, products using geographical indication differ in price from products of the same type without it, and the price of products with geographical indication trademarks can increase substantially. This enables producers to enjoy increased profit and more benefits.

With exports slumping due to the global financial crisis, to cultivate and develop a batch of geographical indication agricultural product brands based on China's rich agricultural resources and unique geographical environment will not only expand produce exports and enhance their international competitiveness, but will also lead to the development of related industries, advance employment, increase peasants' income and inject new vitality into the development of the agricultural economy.

Relevant officials with the Trademark Office under the State Administration for Industry suggested avoiding indiscriminate applications to develop geographical indications, and paying particular attention to enhancing the ability to maintain the brand, should the application be successful.

Geographical indications are a type of trademark, which can be used either as a collective trademark or as a certification trademark. Geographical indications can be used to indicate the origin of a product, namely, the region or country from which it originates, and the product's quality, characteristics and reputation, being directly associated with the cultural and geographical environment of the region.

Geographical indications are mainly used to prohibit third parties from labeling their products of different origin with these indications.

Source: People's Daily Online

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