McLean, Virginia - 3-A SSI today announced the legal registration in China of the design mark and the word marks used for the 3-A SSI Replacement Parts and System Component Qualification Certificate (RPSCQC) program. Registration of the trademarks by the National Intellectual Property Administration of the People’s Republic of China provides 3-A SSI certificate holders in China essential new protection against counterfeits and enhances broader international protection of the 3-A SSI marks.
China trademark authorities issued registration certificates in six classes of equipment which encompass the types of processing equipment where the replacement parts are used and eligible for the certificate. Participation in the RPSCQC program is open to manufacturers of replacement parts or system components and the number of certificate holders has increased significantly in recent years in tandem with the 3-A Symbol authorization program. The RPSCQC program is beneficial to certificate holders and their customers because it affirms that such parts or system components are compatible with the design criteria found in the relevant 3-A Sanitary Standard(s). Certificates are maintained on the 3-A SSI website at https://www.3-a.org/Certificates/RPSCQC-Certificate-Holder-Directory. The RPSCQC word or design mark is often used in sales or marketing information.
The legal registration of the marks, including the replacement part marks and the 3-A Symbol, is described in a special ‘Advisory on 3-A Marks in China’ by the China trademark attorneys King & Wood Mallesons available at Advisory On 3-A Marks' Status and License. Available in English and Chinese, the advisory details all of the terms and conditions for legal use of the 3-A SSI trademarks and it sets out the major prohibitions on infringements.
The China registrations now provide immediate legal recourse by certificate holders in China against counterfeits. According to the Advisory, “3-A is entitled to use those registered trademarks and license other parties to use the same. Any use of the 3-A’s registered mark(s) without 3-A’s license constitutes trademark infringement.”
“China trademark registration is critical because China has not been in compliance with international trade conventions that respect U.S. trademarks,” notes 3-A SSI International Trade Counsel Bart Fisher. “The 3-A China licensees and 3-A SSI now have recognition and standing to bring infringement cases in China for the first time.”
According to 3-A SSI Executive Director Timothy Rugh, “3-A SSI has stepped up the registration of its marks in China and many other markets. Along with China, the replacement part marks are now registered in the U.S. and India, and applications are pending in the United Kingdom, the EU, Canada, Japan and Mexico.”
The 3-A Symbol is a registered mark used since 1956 to identify equipment that meets 3-A Sanitary Standards for design and fabrication. Voluntary use of the 3-A Symbol on dairy and food equipment conveys assurance that equipment meets sanitary standards, provides accepted criteria to equipment manufacturers for sanitary design, and establishes guidelines for uniform evaluation and compliance by sanitarians. 3-A Sanitary Standards are widely known and used in markets around the world.