The Japanese government enacts Geographical Indication (GI) protection legislation which registers agricultural, forestry and fishery products and foodstuffs that own their tradition and specificity attributed to the geographical area and own brand names which are connected and designated to the origin as intellectual property of the State.
Summary of the legislation
With respect to agricultural products and foodstuffs that are originally produced and own their specificity such as quality attributed to the geographical area (called Designated Agricultural, Forestry and Fishery Products and Foodstuffs), groups of such products’ producers and processors* who have capacity to carry out the production process and quality management can apply for designations of origin and GI to the Minister of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fishery (MAFF). (Article 6)
Groups of producers and processors attach the statement which provides the detailed statement of the production of origin, the production method and the specificity as well as the specified production process management. (Article 7)
The Minister of MAFF needs to announce the application summary of 1) and accept submission of public comments from the third party as well as have consultation with experts with specialized knowledge and experience, and then determines the registration. (Article 8 to 14)
(* Groups of producers and processors and several groups can be registered under the same application.)
Protection of the name of the registered Designated Agricultural, Forestry and Fishery Products and Foodstuffs
- The member of the producers’ group registered in (1) can attach the GI on the Designated Agricultural, Forestry and Fishery Products and Foodstuffs which are produced according to the detailed statement or on the package. (Article 3 (1))
- When the member of the producers’ group GI according to ①, the GI mark that indicates as registered GI will be accompanied and attached (Article 4 (1)).
- Anyone else except the case of ① and ② cannot attach GI or the GI mark to Agricultural, Forestry and Fishery Products and Foodstuffs or to its package. (Article 3 (2), Article 4 (2))
- The Minister of MAFF can order to remove GI or the GI mark, or similar indication or mark. (Article 5)
- Penal provisions are imposed to the illicit use of GI and the GI mark. (Article 28, Article 29)
- The date designated by a government ordinance within a year after the issuing date (Supplementary provision 1)
Date submitted: June 9, 2015
Reviewed, edited and uploaded: June 9, 2015