European Union
Japan
Geographical Indications
[Follow-up question from the EC] The definition of "origin" as laid down in the Japanese Examination Guidelines appears to be not fully consistent with the definition of "geographical indications" in TRIPS Article 22.1. Please explain how Japan provides for protection, other than in respect of wines and spirits, of geographical indications in accordance with Article 22 of the TRIPS Agreement, having regard to the definition of "geographical indication" in Article 22.1 of the TRIPS Agreement.
The meaning of the term "origin" used in the Japanese Trademark Law should be construed broadly. According to the Trademark Examination Guidelines, it is explained that the term "origin" includes "names of countries, famous geographical names (including names of administrative units, former names of countries and geographical names used in foreign countries), names of streets (including famous streets in foreign countries), indications on maps etc.", but is not limited to those. Consequently, the term "origin" is construed as broad enough to include "geographical indications" provided for in Article 22.1 of the TRIPS Agreement.