"Living in an old house in remote mountains, far from the bustling city, I am busy planting peaches and repairing fences while keen on savoring alcohol and tea with friends when free." This is the real life of Xie Zengxian, a born-in-1980s new farmer in Lianping County, Heyuan City, Guangdong Province. The reason why this young man returns to his hometown to elect farming as his livelihood lies in the local product under GI (geographical indication) protection - Lianping Yingzui peach.
Guangdong Province was selected in the first batch of pilot areas to deepen the reform on the certified use of GI special marks. The responsible Guangdong Intellectual Property Administration has approved 270 enterprises to use the special marks on 37 GI products. The enterprise founded by Xie was certified to use the special mark of Lianping Yingzui peach by the regional administration in 2021.
The progress made by Guangdong epitomizes China's continuous engagement in the GI pilot reform. Recently, the General Affairs Office of the China National Intellectual Property Administration (CNIPA) released a notice on the list of the second batch of pilot regions on GI special marks and the further steps for the first batch. The new pilot period would last three years effective from July 2022 to June 2025.
Compared with the first batch of pilot work, the new reform has more advantages: a wider range of pilot provinces, more focused pilot tasks, more specific work to do, and more pronounced policy incentives.
Expand to a wider range of pilot provinces. The coverage of both first and second batch of pilots moved up from 12 to 20 provinces, and the number of determined GI protection products increased from 1,218 to 1,951, accounting for 51.76% and 82.91% respectively of the total. According to the notice, the second batch of pilot reform, focusing on key issues and difficult tasks, will promote the facilitated applications and uses of GI special marks and continue to shrink the approval pendency, which will efficiently meet the needs of GI enterprises to use the marks and benefit more market entities.
Enhance more focused pilot tasks. According to the notice, the pilot provinces should take the pilot as an opportunity to comply with the new situation of GI protection and grasp the new needs of all sectors of society for the certified uses of special marks. From this, the coverage rate of GI special marks used by market entities will reach over 80%, and a supervision mechanism will be formed with credit monitoring as basis, an oversight model of random inspection, public release and "Internet + supervision" as means, key supervision as supplement.
Promote more in-depth pilot reform. Among the first batch, the five pilot provinces awarded for excellence have been in possession of the foundation for deepening the reform according to the notice. For this, the whole first-batch pilot regions should explore the list of abnormal use of GI special marks, establish and implement the work system for the mark cancellation and add the mark use into IP credit monitoring in law, based on the fully investigation of the social needs for the mark cancellation and the relevant regulations including the Provisions on the Protection of GI Products and the Regulation for the Use of GI Special Marks (Trial).
Highlight more regional policy incentives. The pilot work fully reflects the policy incentives for regions with outstanding IP fruits. In 2021, regions with outstanding achievements in IP creation, utilization, protection, management and service included Beijing, Shanghai, Jiangsu, Zhejiang and Hubei, which will be given the privilege support to their reforms on the certified use of GI special marks in 2022, according to a circular on supervising and supporting regions with outstanding results in 2021 issued by the General Office of the State Council. In accordance with the above requirement, the pilot work is being implemented.
"In the future, the CNIPA will continue to guide, coordinate, evaluate and inspect the pilot work to improve the quality of review and management of special marks. In addition, the administration will organize business training, mid-term assessment, pilot evaluation and promote the typical experience in time, which further provides experiential and empirical support for the implementation of GI protection system and mechanism," said a principal of CNIPA's IP Protection Department.