Hungary has recently deposited its instrument of ratification to the WIPO Geneva Act of the Lisbon Agreement, which covers 33 countries (the 27 EU Member States plus Albania, Cambodia, North Korea, Laos, Oman and Samoa). While Côte d’Ivoire has also acceded to the treaty, as a Member State of the African Intellectual Property Organization (OAPI), the Geneva Act will enter into force with respect to its jurisdiction three months after the date on which OAPI deposits its instrument of accession.
The Geneva Act is designed to help producers of Appellations of Origin (AO) and Geographical Indications (GIs) protect distinctive names in multiple jurisdictions, through a single application filed with WIPO and the payment of one set of fees. Together with the EU, individual Member States that are party to the Lisbon Agreement (France and Hungary, which have already done so, as well as Italy, Portugal, Czech Republic, Bulgaria and Slovakia) should join the Geneva Act for the following reasons:
- The EU Member States which are contracting parties to the Lisbon Agreement and the Geneva Act will ensure the continuity of rights for the Appellations of Origin previously protected under the Lisbon Agreement. When all Lisbon Agreement countries have also joined the Geneva Act, producers whose appellations of origin are protected under the Lisbon System will all benefit from the Geneva Act’s unique features and flexibilities, without losing prior rights
- In the Union which governs the Geneva Act, contracting parties that are intergovernmental organizations, such as the EU, have a number of votes equal to the number of Member States which are party to it.
Meanwhile, the European commission has established a list of AO and GIs protected under Regulation (EU) No 1151/2012 (agricultural products), a list of AO and GIs protected under Regulation No, 1308/2013 (wines), a list of AO and GIs protected under Regulation No 2019/787 (spirits), and a first list of AO and GIs protected under regulation No 251/2014 (aromatized wines) to be filed as applications for international registration under the Geneva Act. The names contained in the Annexes of such Decisions represent the first list of EU AO and GIs to be protected under the Geneva Act, which have been selected among the ones of EU Member States which are not party to the Lisbon Agreement as well as the ones of EU Member States which are party to the Lisbon Agreement but are not currently protected under the Lisbon Agreement.
To know more about the Geneva Act and its relations with the Lisbon Agreement, please consult the dedicated page of the oriGIn website.