The 47th Session of the Standing Committee of the 13th Guangdong People's Congress has deliberated and approved the Guangdong Geographical Indication Protection Regulation, which is effective on January 1, 2023. As the country's first comprehensive local GI act, the Regulation's pioneering move in GI local legislation has sparked widespread attention.

"The Regulation attends to those realistic issues concerning GI industry development, puts serving regional economic development as a key gist, fills the gap of GI branding work and shores up the fundamental elements supporting industry development to contribute to GI industry development and rural revitalization," an executive from Guangdong IP Administration told our China IP News reporter.

One big quality of the Regulation is building a GI protection system that seamlessly links with relevant national rules. On the one hand, the linkage aims to refine the GI protection system, effectively connects the national-level authority with local legislation and elevate the quality of legislative coverage of GI protection. On the other hand, in an effort to ramp up deterrence to GI violations, the Regulation emulates the Product Quality Law, providing for liabilities of GI violations. IP administrations above county level are vested with the authority to order rectification on a given time frame, seize products produced or sold illegally and impose fines under the equivalent value of the goods produced or sold. Illegal gains, if there is any, shall be seized. If the violation runs counter to the Trademark Law, Anti-Unfair Competition Law or other laws or regulations, the involved legislation shall be applied. If a criminal offense is triggered, criminal prosecution shall be sought.

In addition, in an effort to solve those popular and difficult problems impeding industry development, the Regulation plays up Guangdong's strength of a highly open market and dynamic external trade, conduct censuses of GI resources and bolster protection, build and improve a full GI industry development system, boost elevation of quality and efficiency of the industry, perform international cooperation, use multiple measures to refine the GI use system and upgrade GI products' market competitiveness and international influence.

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