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Amendments to Trademark Laws

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Jun 25, 2020 (Newsletter Issue 10/20)
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Administrative Measures for Use of Special Marks of GIs

The China National Intellectual Property Administration ("CNIPA") has recently enacted and issued the Administrative Measures for Use of Special Marks of Geographical Indications (for Trial Implementation) (the "Measures") which takes effect immediately from the date of issuance.

According to the Measures, four types of subjects, including "producers that have been approved, as stated in public announcements, to use the special marks of geographical indications on their products", are the legal users of special marks of geographical indications.

These legal users shall observe the principle of good faith, fulfil three obligations including "organizing the production of geographical indication products pursuant to relevant standards, management practices and administrative rules for such use".

The Measures prescribe that where a legal user of the special mark of a geographical indication fails to organize production activities in accordance with the corresponding standards, management practices or relevant administrative rules for use, or has not used, within two years, the special mark on the protected geographical indication products, the intellectual property authority shall disqualify it from using the special mark of the geographical indication concerned. In addition, the Measures mandate a transition period till December 31, 2020 for the use of the original special marks of geographical indications, stating that products bearing the original marks that are produced before December 31, 2020 may continue to be circulated in the market.

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