On November 6, 2019, Zhong Shan, Minister of Ministry of Commerce and Phil Hogan, Commissioner of EU Agriculture and Rural development co-signed the “Joint Statement for Concluding Negotiation on China-EU Agreement on Protection and Cooperation of Geographical Indications”, to declare the conclusion of negotiation on the bilateral agreement on protection and cooperation of geographical indications. As the first comprehensive and high-level bilateral agreement on geographical indications between China and foreign enterprises, it marked a milestone in reinforcing China-EU trade ties.
The relevant responsible person of a department in China Intellectual Property Administration (CNIPA) expressed, a geographical indication is name or a sign used on certain products which corresponds to a specific geographical location or origin, identifying the qualities, characteristics or reputation of the products, so it belongs to an important category of intellectual property. With long histories, China and EU enjoy abundant products of geographical indication, so the bilateral agreement is of great significance for both sides to protect the geographical indications. China puts a new premium on the economic and trade relations with EU, and has a steadfast determination on strengthening IP protection, including geographical indications. In the next future, China and EU will go through the internal approval processes according to their laws, and officially sign the agreement. The companies and the public on both sides will be sure to benefit from it as early as possible.