Second part of the article compiled by our General Manager Belgin Sagdic, Trademark and Patent Attorney, Geographical Indications Specialist, was included in the book “GI-Registered Goods” that was published following the II. International Geographical Indications Summit organized by the Ankara Chamber of Commerce on 19 September 2019. To read the first part please click HERE.
WHAT RIGHTS ARE OBTAINED BY GEOGRAPHICAL INDICATION PROTECTION?
* Any use with the intention of benefiting from the renown of the registered name, as well as indirect or direct commercial use of the name itself in relation to products that resemble or evoke the registered product, is prevented.
* Although the word refers to an actual geographical location, its use in a way that might mislead the public as to where it was produced, as well as the use of translations of the registered name or descriptors such as ‘in the style of’, ‘same type as’, ‘made by the same method’, ‘as produced in….’, and the like is prohibited.
* Giving any false or misleading explanation or detail about the natural and essential qualities, features or origin on the inner/outer packaging of the product as well as any promotional material or written documents related to the product is prevented.
* Any packaging or presentation that may mislead as to the provenance of the product is prevented.
WHO IS IN CHARGE OF THE AUDITING OF GEOGRAPHICAL INDICATIONS, AND WHAT IS THE PROCESS?
The auditing of Geographic Indications or Traditional Specialty Guaranteed is both crucial for the true manufacturers of the product to reap the economic rewards and for meeting customer expectations.
Audits cover all kinds of activity related to the manufacturing, supply and distribution of the product or, once it is on the market, its adherence to the qualities specified in the registration.
The auditing commission is specified in the civil registry of the indication in question. Formed of persons involved in the production, processing or like procedures of the product in question, the commission is a community, union or similar group for community planning, regardless of its method of official establishment, that will have sufficient personnel, equipment and other facilities in order to audit the registered product’s manufacturing and marketing, as well as the use, branding, and types of indication on the product, marking, labelling and branding of the registered locale name or merchandise mark. It is possible to cooperate with experts and unbiased institutions and establishments throughout the audit process.
Audit Reports are submitted to Turkish Patent and Trademark Office once a year starting from the date of the registration’s publication in the Bulletin.
If it is determined that the audit activities are not duly performed, the right to geographical indication or Traditional Specialty Guaranteed is terminated.
According to the 5996 Law on Veterinary Services Plant Health Food and Feed, the Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Livestock supervises the compliance in the use of geographical indications related to agriculture and food with the qualities specified in the registration.
WHAT IS THE AUDIT CRITERIA?
While auditing the conformity of products bearing the registered Geographical ndication or Traditional Specialty Guaranteed with the features specified in the registration, the auditing authorities also inspect the use of the emblem pictured below. In the case of geographical indications, use of the emblem is obligatory. In cases where, due to the nature of the product, the Geographical Indication or Traditional Specialty Guaranteed cannot be used on the product or its packaging, the emblem and the registered indication or name are displayed within the establishment in a way that can be easily seen by those who reserve the rights to its use.
REQUESTS TO CHANGE GEOGRAPHICAL INDICATIONS
Due to the occurrence of situations such as the following, the Industrial Property Law allows changes to Geographical Indications. Change requests are made as described below.
* If there is a change in the registered geographical indication or traditional product designation due to a reason related to climate change, technological development or the advent of new production methods, or an error is discovered in the registration document,
* The court decides that the applicants or registrants of the geographical indication or Traditional Specialty Guaranteed have not met the conditions specified in the Law,
* The ex officio determination of said situation by the Commission,
* Changes are requested by applicants or registrars.
Geographical Indications are subdivided into three categories; Protected Designation of Origin, Protected Geographical Indication, and Traditional Specialty Guaranteed.
PROTECTED DESIGNATION OF ORIGIN (PDO)
A product’s PDO is determined by having a feature or features originating from the human factor or nature of the geographical, bordered region in question and is identifiable with the region through these characteristics, as well as its production, processing and other operations taking place completely within the boundaries of said locality, area or region.
The PDO requires that the production and processing of and other procedures relating to the product be carried out entirely within the boundaries of a locality, area or region with officially defined geographical boundaries. Examples of such products are Eskişehir Sepiolite, Çelikhan Tobacco, and Aegean Cotton. Products cannot be produced outside of the geographic region in which they are based, because they are allotted their qualities only as long as they are produced in their own locality.
PROTECTED GEOGRAPHICAL INDICATION (PGI)
A product of which the production, processing and at least one other procedure takes place in a geographical area with defined borders is called a sign of origin. It is possible for at least one of the characteristics of the PGI to be produced outside the region, provided that it has originated from that region.
Examples of such products are Damal Dolls, Isparta Carpets, and Siirt Blankets. The qualities, quality, renown and other features of these products are those resulting from natural raw materials or manual processes belonging to a certain geographical location. In this mode of production, it is imperative that the same production methods and quality standards of the original geographical region are upheld.
TRADITIONAL SPECIALTY GUARANTEED
Taking into account the rich reserve of Anatolian culture, it is no surprise that we have a wealth of products with traditional qualities. Those products that are not included in the geographical indication can be subject to registration as TRADITIONAL SPECIALTY GUARANTEED.
Traditional names describing a product with a certifiable history of use of at least thirty years are defined as TRADITIONAL SPECIALTY provided they meet at least one of the following conditions:
* Originating from a conventional method of manufacture or processing or a traditional formulation.
* Being manufactured from traditional resources or materials.
ONGOING AND COMPLETED TRADITIONAL SPECIALTY REGISTRATION APPLICATIONS
Translated to English by: Zeynep Beler