The EU and Canada have recently concluded a free trade agreement containing provisions on geographical indications (GIs). This short note (the full article is available in English and in Italian) looks at the text of the agreement and asks whether the approach taken by the EU negotiators achieves the objective of protecting the EU’s ‘living cultural and gastronomic heritage’.
The agreement – made public on the 26th of September 2014 goes some way to protecting, in Canada, certain geographical names considered economically important for the EU and introduces a degree of coexistence between specific trade marks and geographical indications. The very inclusion of a provision on GIs can be considered as a negotiating success by the EU given the traditional position of Canada in relation to the EU’s concept on GIs and the conflicts in relation to some names between the two entities. A second positive from the negotiations is that the EU has achieved some protection for some EU GIs in Canada where before there could be none.
The agreement, however, does not address the more fundamental problem of the coexistence of trade marks and geographical indications as two distinct forms of intellectual property or establish principles to guide the resolution of conflict in specific cases.
This summary has been extracted from an “oriGIn Alert”, which is a service reserved exclusively to oriGIn members.