NISHIO, July 30 — Nishio Matcha, finely ground Japanese green tea, has been granted a trademark for the brand name by Taiwan, its first overseas registration at a time when fake matcha has been on the rise in markets across Asia and in the United States.
The trademark registration aims to help the traditional product from central Japan attract new markets seeking high-quality and healthy foods. With its health benefits, matcha has been popular and used in everything including lattes, cupcakes and ice cream.
The brand logo illustrates a green deep tea bowl and a bamboo tea whisk, with English letters saying “Nishio Matcha.”
The Nishio Tea Cooperative, a group of the tea makers and retailers in Nishio and surrounding cities in Aichi prefecture, has witnessed the growth in counterfeiting of its products and labels in overseas markets.
Last year, the cooperative filed trademark applications to safeguard its product name in 10 countries: the United States, China, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, Singapore, Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines.
Japan’s existing framework for geographical indications (GI) that protect food names has granted the name “Nishio Matcha” since March.