Zen International Patents and Trademark

The Japan Geographical Indication (GI) Law takes effect only in Japan and basically GI are not protected overseas.

However, if a bilateral agreement between a foreign country and Japan related to conditions of GI mutual protection is reached, GI will be protected in a partner country.  In this meaning, GI protection system is expected to boost export of Japanese agricultural products.

In this connection,  GI registration of “Nishio Matcha,” the brand name of finely ground green tea in Aichi Prefecture of Japan, was accepted in March 2017.

Nishio Matcha / Source: MAFF

This summer, it turned out that a Chinese company had filed a trademark for the mark similar to “Nishio Matcha” in EU.  The Nishio Tea Cooperative filed an opposition against this trademark.

Japan reached the agreement on mutual GI protection with the EU.  For that reason, it is expected that the opposition to the trademark will be successful in the EU.