The EU-China bilateral agreement on GIs entered into force on March the 1st.
Here are the agreement main points:
- 100 GIs from each party (see Annex III and Annex IV of the agreement and our GIs compilation @ EU GIs protected in China and Chinese GIs protected in the EU) are now protected in the counterpart’s jurisdiction;
- The protection granted to GIs is solid, including if a GI name is used with the indication of the true origin of the goods or in translation, transcription or transliteration, or accompanied by expressions such as “kind”, “type”, “style”, “imitation” or the like (Art. 4). The refusal of trademark applications consisting in a GI protected under the Agreement is also included in the agreement (Art. 6.1, 6.2 and 6.3);
- The principle of co-existence with legitimate earlier trademarks is provided (Art.6.4);
- An additional list of 175 GIs from both sides will be protected within the 4 years after the 1st of March 2021 (Annex V and Annex VI). Likewise a list of Chinese handicraft GIs (Annex VII) might be protected in the future depending on the legislative development of the Parties (see Art. 1.2, where the parties agreed to consider extending the Agreement scope of protection to non-agricultural GIs after its entry into force).
On the agreement contents, you can also see the outcomes of the oriGIn webinar on GIs protection in China held last February.