Strengthening Geographical Indication Exchanges and Protecting Legitimate Rights for Enterprises and Consumers
On April 18, Zhang Mao met with the visiting commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development of the European Commission, Mr. Phil Hogan. Zhang Mao expressed to strengthen communication and cooperation with EU relevant departments, to provide wide protections for trademarks and Geographical Indication products of Chinese and EU enterprises, and to protect the enterprises and consumers’ legitimate interests.
Zhang Mao introduced the progress in business system reform and trademark protection. He indicated that the business system reform undertaken currently greatly incented market vitality, which increased new registered enterprises from 6900 daily in 2014 to 12000 daily in 2015, and also increased trademark applications. Under the pressure of economic downturn, China needs to continue the improvement on business environment and the protection on honest and competitive market environment. The protection on trademark rights and Geographical Indication trademark exclusive rights became therefore very important. SAIC constantly paid high attentions on famous enterprises both in and out of China, and on their trademarks and Geographical Indication protections. It at one hand strengthened market supervision, at the other hand perfect enterprises credit publicity and supervision to increase their awareness on trademark protections. In 2015, there were 2.87 million trademark applications. The valid trademark registrations exceeded 10 million at the end of 2015, which ranked number one in the world for consecutively 14 years. Enterprises also increased their awareness on intellectual property protections.
Zhang Mao indicated the quick development of trademarks and Geographical Indications fostered better business environment for enterprises from China and abroad, and comprehensively strengthened protections on legitimate rights for both enterprises and consumers. The fast growth in trademark application number also brought in great challenge for trademark registration, administration and protection. Currently, Trademark Office and Trademark Review and Adjudication Board under SAIC were following the relevant provisions of Trademark Law, making efforts in optimizing procedures, improving efficiencies, reducing examination periods. By the end of March, 3091 Geographical Indications were registered as either Collective marks or Certification marks. For the registrations, 84 were from abroad, and 59 from EU. SAIC also paid great attentions on Geographical Indication developments and conducted good cooperation with the Departments of Agriculture and Rural Development under EU Commission. He hoped to actively exchange experiences for more achievements and to provide wide protections on trademarks and Geographical Indication products and to practically protect legitimate rights for both enterprises and consumers.
Mr Phil Hogan thanked for the meeting with Zhang Mao. He indicated that EU and China had conducted much fruitful cooperation, the one for Trademarks and Geographical Indications strongly promoted enterprises development and protected consumers’ interests. The bilateral negotiations on Geographical Indications between EU and China developed smoothly. He mentioned that SAIC played an important function in the negotiation. He hoped SAIC could give further support and strengthen communication and cooperation with EU relevant departments to jointly promote enterprises’ developments and protect consumers’ rights.