18/07/2019 – Update on EU bilateral agreements concerning GIs (Vietnam, Mercosur, Singapore, Mongolia)

global deal 300x199On 30 June, the EU-Vietnam trade agreement was signed by the parties. Provision concerning GIs can be found in sub-section 3 of the Intellectual Property Chapter (page 21): The GIs included in the lists (160 for the EU and 39 for Vietnam) will be protected upon the entry into force of the agreement. A few limitations to full protection were provided: “Champagne” will be fully protected after a transition period of 10 years, during which all uses incompatible with the GI protection, including translations and transliterations in Vietnamese script will be phased out. For “Parmigiano Reggiano”, the provisions of the agreement will not prejudice the right of any person to use, or to register in Vietnam a trademark containing or consisting of the term “parmesan”. This does not apply in respect of any use that would mislead the public as to the geographical origin of the good. The protection of the GIs “Asiago”, “Fontina” and “Gorgonzola” will not prevent the use of any of these indications in the territory of Vietnam by any persons, including their successors, who made actual commercial use in good faith of those indications with regard to products in the class of “cheeses” prior to 1 January 2017. The protection of the GI “Feta” will not prevent the use of this indication in the territory of Vietnam by any persons, including their successors, who made actual commercial use in good faith of this indication with regard to products in the class of “cheeses” made from sheep’s milk or made from sheep and goat’s milk, prior to 1 January 2017. The agreement will now have to be approved by the European Parliament and the Council before entering into force. 

On 28 June, the EU and Mercosur reached a political deal for a trade agreement . Concerning GIs, 355 EU products’ names will be protected the agreement in the 4 Mercosur countries (Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay) and 1 in 3 of them (Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay). Given the high number of oppositions filed by third parties in the context of the procedure opened in the framework of the negotiations, there are several limitations to full GIs protection (mainly grandfathering clauses and phasing out periods of pre-existing uses). oriGIn is evaluating each of them with its EU members concerned. In this respect, one positive element is the fact that the agreement itself states that the lists of prior users in Mercosur countries will be made public. This is crucial point which will facilitate the agreement future implementation, and follows a request to the Commission raised by oriGIn. Both sides will now perform a legal revision of the agreed text to come up with the final version.

With respect to the EU-Singapore Free Trade Agreement (EUSFTA), the registration phase of GIs (which in this case followed the end of the negotaitions) had started in March. Concerned groups can follow the status of the GI they represent on the website of the IP Office of Singapore (IPOS). 

On June 11, the Commission published a roadmap regarding the conclusion of a bilateral agreement on GIs between the EU and Mongolia. oriGIn has submitted its comments, reiterating its key principles for GIs protection in bilateral agreements


This summary has been extracted from an “oriGIn Alert”, which is a service reserved exclusively to oriGIn members.  Click here to join oriGIn 

For more information about bilateral and plurilateral agreements covering GIs see the concerning category in the section Policy and Advocacy 


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