On 14 March, the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission reached an agreement allowing the EU to join the WIPO Geneva Act of the Lisbon Agreement on Appellations of Origin and Geographical Indications.
The modalities for the EU accession to the Geneva Act will be the following:
- The EU will become a contracting party to the Geneva Act and will authorise Member States which are already party to the Lisbon Agreement (Italy, France, Portugal, Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovakia and Bulgaria) to ratify or accede to the Geneva Act.
- EU Member States which are contracting parties to the Lisbon Agreement remain parties of such agreement to ensure the continuity of rights and obligations. However, they will not be able to register new appellations of origin under the Lisbon Agreement (falling within the scope of Regulation (EC) No 110/2008, Regulation (EU) No 1151/2012, Regulation (EU) No 1308/2013 or Regulation (EU) No 251/2014).
- All EU Member States will be represented by the Commission in the system which will manage the Geneva Act.
- Powers are conferred on the Commission to establish a list of GIs for filling applications under the Geneva Act. These applications should be based on notifications from Member States acting on their own initiative or on request by a natural person or legal entity or by a beneficiary.
- The fees for filing applications under the Geneva Act will be paid by the EU concerned Member States. The have the option to request the legal entities or beneficiaries in charge of the concerned GIs to pay some or all of such fees.
- In a separate declaration, the Commission commits to examine the possible extension of GIs protection to non-agricultural product names. Even though the EU is not legally bound by this, the door for a EU Regulation on non-agricultural GIs is now open. When other WIPO countries join the Geneva Act and notify non-agricultural GIs, the EU will be in a very delicate position to refuse them altogether.
- Overall, the EU accession to the Geneva Act paves the way to the establishment of an international GIs registry. To find all relevant information on the Geneva Act, Lisbon Agreement and oriGIn campaigns, please consult the Policy & Advocacy area of our website
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