Policy on registration of collective and certification marks now in force

China

The Policy for the Registration and Administration of Collective Marks and Certification Marks has come into force. It sets out in greater detail the information and documents necessary for applications to register collective and certification marks, and also outlines the rules relating to the registration of geographical indications as collective or certification marks.

Some of the most important procedures for an applicant seeking to register a geographical indication to consider are the following:

  • Where the registration of a geographical indication as a collective mark is at issue, the applicant must originate from the geographical area indicated in the application.

  • An applicant seeking registration of a geographical indication as a collective or certification mark must provide documents that prove its capacity to file the application. Such documents include approval documents issued by local government or other official bodies from the relevant geographical location, as well as proof that the applicant enjoys legal protection of the relevant geographical indication in its name in the country of origin.

  • It must also provide information about the qualification of technical professionals and the equipment available to it or its appointee, to show that the applicant has the ability to verify the special feature or quality of the goods for which the geographical indication is to be used.

Under the previous system, collective marks were not assignable. This is no longer prohibited under the new procedures. However, the assignee of a collective mark or a certification mark must also possess the capacity to own the relevant mark.

Rebecca Lo, Rebecca Lo & Co, Hong Kong

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