04/10/2015 – TPP: Negotiations concluded – GIs provisions available

On 4 October, the U.S., Japan, Australia, Peru, Malaysia, Vietnam, New Zealand, Chile, Singapore, Canada, Mexico and Brunei Darussalam concluded the negotiations of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). Such plurilateral free trade agreement contains an Intellectual Property Chapter with a section on GIs (while the final text has not yet been officially released, it is available on WikiLeaks @ https://wikileaks.org/tpp-ip3/WikiLeaks-TPP-IP-Chapter/WikiLeaks-TPP-IP-Chapter-051015.pdf – see Section D, pages 13-17).

The major points are the following:

– For the GIs already protected in TPP parties via the international treaties concluded by a TPP Party with another Party or with a non-TTP Party (including the GIs to be protected through agreements agreed in principle), the rules provided by such international treaties will not be affected by the TTP. As a result, those GIs will be keep the protection based on such rules (see Art. QQ.D.5.6);

– For the GIs to be protected via any international treaty to be concluded by a TPP Party with another Party or with a non-TTP Party, an opposition phase as well as the possibility to ask for the cancellation of such GIs at any time will have to be provided by the jurisdictions of the TPP Parties (see Art. QQ.D.5, points 1 to 4). Similar provisions will have to apply as well to GIs to be protected within TTP Parties via national recognition procedures (see Art. QQ.D.2 and QQ.D.3). Finally, TPP Parties are not obliged to apply such provisions to GIs for wines and spirits;

– The principle of coexistence between earlier trademarks and GIs is in principle admitted as a limited exception to the rights conferred to trademarks (see Section C / Trademarks, Art. QQ.C.4);


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