c) Protection of Geographical Indications in Singapore
The law protecting geographical indications in Singapore is the Geographical Indications Act (Cap. 117B).
In Singapore, there is no need to file for registration to obtain protection of geographical indications under the Geographical Indications Act.
Instead, a producer, trader or association of such producers or traders of any geographical indication will enjoy automatic protection as long as:
- The geographical indication is from country which is a member of the World Trade Organization, a party to the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property, or a country designated by the Singapore Government as a qualifying country from which geographical indications of that country can be protected;
- The geographical indication must be protected in its country of origin; and
- The geographical indication does not fall under any of these categories:
- It is immoral or against public order;
- It is no longer in use or no longer protected in the country of origin;
- It has become the common name in Singapore for the goods or services which it identifies;
- [for wines and spirits] it has been used continuously for at least 10 years preceding 15 April 1994 or in good faith preceding that date;
- It is confusingly similar to a trade mark for which rights had been acquired before the geographical indication is protected in its country of origin; or
- It is the name of a person or a predecessor in a particular business.
Even though a producer, trader or association of such producers or traders of a geographical indication cannot file for registration of the geographical indication in Singapore, he can still opt to register the geographical indication as a certification or collective mark under the Trade Marks Act (Cap. 332).
d) Enforcement of Geographical Indications in Singapore
In Singapore, a producer, trader or an association of producers or traders can sue an unauthorised party for the following infringing uses:
A producer, trader or an association can exercise his rights under the Geographical Indications Act by taking legal action against the infringing party.