Zen International Patents and Trademarks

Effective ways to protect regional branding of agrcultural procuts are to use a regional collective trademark system and (or) geographical Indication protection system.

A regional collective trademark system was enforced in 2006 in Japan.
For now, more than 600 regional collective trademarks have been registered.  However, this system do not assure of “quality” of agricultural products and in this respect it is not satisfactory system.

In 2015, the Act on Protection of the Names of Specific Agricultural, Forestry and Fishery Products and Foodstuffs (Geographical Indication (GI) Act) entered into force.  Diffrent from a regional collective trademark system, GI system assure quality of agricultural products.
As of May 12, 2017, 30 GIs have been registered.
Among registered GIs, globally famous brand names, such as “Kobe Beef” “Tajima Beef” and “Yubari Melon” are included.

GI mark must be affixed with registered GIs. (see below)