We would like to ensure that you are still receiving content that you find useful – please confirm that you would like to continue to receive ILO newsletters.
26 March 2018
A Bordeaux wine is any wine produced in the Bordeaux region of France. The French government created the Bordeaux appellation, recognised by the Appellation d'Origine Controlée, in order to grant official status to select agricultural products due to the region's specific terroir and soil. The Conseil Interprofessionnel du Vin de Bordeaux (CIVB) is a French interest group representing nearly 10,000 Bordeaux wine producers and growers and 400 wineries.
On July 14 2012 the CIVB registered with the China Trademark Office a geographical indication (GI) collective trademark in Class 33, designating wines. CIVB members could use the collective trademark provided that their:
In March 2016 the Shanghai Public Security Bureau raided a local wine dealer suspected of selling counterfeit wine. The CIVB confirmed that the Bordeaux wine sold by the dealer was not from the Bordeaux region. Given that the sales turnover totalled approximately Rmb5 million, far beyond the criminal threshold for counterfeiting registered trademarks, the bureau transferred the case to the local people's procuratorate for public prosecution.
On December 8 2017 the Xuhui District Court of Shanghai found the dealer, its legal representative and one of its employees guilty of selling commodities bearing counterfeit registered trademarks pursuant to Article 214 of the Criminal Law.
The Shanghai court's ruling, which granted the same level of protection to a registered GI collective trademark as an ordinary registered trademark, has been welcomed.
To date, criminal enforcement of GIs in China has been difficult. Without explicit provisions addressing this matter in the Criminal Law, GI registrants have had little to rely on except a 2009 official reply from the Second Criminal Tribunal of the Supreme People's Court confirming that:
In China, counterfeiters and infringers often forge the place of origin of goods. However, the authorities – including the police, the people's procuratorates and the courts – have tended to find that:
This is the first criminal ruling regarding a counterfeit GI collective trademark to be awarded by a Chinese court. As such, it may serve as a precedent in future.
For further information on this topic please contact Zhang Yan or Cao Jin at Wanhuida Peksung by telephone (+86 10 6892 1000) or email (email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org). The Wanhuida Peksung website can be accessed at www.wanhuida.com and www.peksung.com.
The materials contained on this website are for general information purposes only and are subject to the disclaimer.
ILO is a premium online legal update service for major companies and law firms worldwide. In-house corporate counsel and other users of legal services, as well as law firm partners, qualify for a free subscription.