oriGIn Alerts, 04 September14: #Survey #wipoAppellations #ParmigianoReggiano #EUnonagriGIs

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oriGIn: Alert Survey Results

We would like to thank you for participating in the “oriGIn Alert” survey. We appreciate your valuable feedback, which will help us to further improve this service.

We are glad to know than more than the two-thirds of the respondents regularly read the “oriGIn Alerts”.

In terms of content, most of the respondents find it interesting and useful. Many of you expressed an interest in finding more information about the initiatives of other oriGIn members. In this respect, we will keep monitor your respective web sites and encourage you to inform us about the activities you wish to be known within the network.

In terms of format, while two-thirds of the respondents consider the format easy to access, one-third of them find the need to log in the members’ area somehow cumbersome. As a result, from now on you can read the “oriGIn Alerts” simply by clicking on the link at the bottom of the e-mail. All “oriGIn Alerts” will continue to be archived in the members’ area of our website.


oriGIn #2: The Future of the Lisbon Agreement on the Protection of Appellations of Origin and their International Registration

Since its establishment in 2009, oriGIn has been actively involved in the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) Working Group on the Development of the Lisbon Agreement. oriGIn has played a key role in ensuring that, while extending the scope of application of the Agreement to Geographical Indications (the current Agreement mentions only Appellations of Origin), a single and ambitious level of protection was provided for both Geographical Indications and Appellations of Origin. Moreover, we have pushed to provide for the possibility of producers’ groups – in countries where the legislation so permits – to file directly an application at WIPO for an international registration via the Agreement (see articles 5 and 11 of the latest Draft Revised Lisbon Agreement proposed by the WIPO Secretariat in June @ http://www.wipo.int/edocs/mdocs/mdocs/en/li_wg_dev_9/li_wg_dev_9_2.pdf ; A new version is being prepared in view of the next Working Group meeting scheduled at the end of October). 

In this context, on 24 September 2014, at the occasion of the Fifty-Fourth Series of Meetings of the Assemblies of the Member States of the WIPO, oriGIn, in cooperation with the National Industrial Property Institute (INPI) of Portugal and the Permanent Mission of Portugal to the United Nations, organises in Geneva a Luncheon Workshop on the future of the Lisbon Agreement (see the Draft Program). The event has the objective to take stock of the practice under the Lisbon Agreement, from the point of view of both current Member States and producers, in particular with respect to the benefits derived from the international protection as well as the system’s shortfalls. Likewise, the meeting intends to discuss the Lisbon Agreement future perspectives, in light of the 2015 Diplomatic Conference for its revision, with the objective to highlight the most urgent improvements needed for the Revised Lisbon Agreement to be attractive for a large number of countries and legal systems. A revised Lisbon Agreement ratified by a large number of countries (the current Agreement counts 28 Members States) is in the interest of producers’ groups because it would facilitate the protection of GIs in foreign jurisdictions/markets.

If you wish to participate, please inform ida@origin-gi.com no later than Friday 19 September, 2014. We will include your name in a guest list to be able to enter the WIPO building. 


Members: The 80th Anniversary of the “Consorzio del Formaggio Parmigiano-Reggiano”

In July, the “Consorzio del Formaggio Parmigiano-Reggiano” celebrated 80 years since its establishment. At this occasion, the Consorzio launched a special video “Happy Parmigiano-Reggiano”, which highlights the characteristics and core values of the product as its geographical area. You can watch the video @ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eA4eqdsTu2Q 

Founded in 1934, the Consorzio represents today a system involving almost 3,500 farms, more than 360 processing facilities and is worth a little less than 2 billion EUR, providing employment and income to more than 20,000 people.


EU: Non-Agricultural GIs

On 15 July, the European Commission adopted a Green Paper on the extension of the protection of geographical indications (GIs) to non-agricultural products (e.g. ceramics, marble, cutlery, shoes, tapestries, musical instruments, etc.) and launched a public consultation to collect views from stakeholders on whether there is a need, in the EU, to increase GI protection for non-agricultural products, and if so what approach should be taken (the full text is available @  http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/PDF/?uri=CELEX:52014DC0469&from=EN). Interested parties are invited to submit comments by 28 October 2014.

Given the relevance of the topic and our involvement in the previous steps (oriGIn is one of the authors of the study on geographical indications protection for non-agricultural products in the Internal Market requested by the Commission and finalised in 2012) we will provide the Commission with our comments. In this respect, the “oriGIn Lab” on non-agricultural GIs (http://www.origin-gi.com/index.php/en/about-us/origin-labs.html#.VAXb4fl_uvQ) is already working on a common position. Members interested to contribute are invited to send their comments @ massimo@origin-gi.com by 10 October, 2014 so that the “oriGIn Lab” has enough time to take them on board (likewise, we encourage interested members to send their comments directly to the Commission).

Meanwhile, we recall some of the conclusions of the 2012 Study (available @ http://ec.europa.eu/internal_market/indprop/docs/geo-indications/130322_geo-indications-non-agri-study_en.pdf). The current legislative fragmentation in the EU is detrimental to the protection of non-agricultural GIs (protection and enforcement are very costly for producers). Any new system should provide a high level of protection to non-agricultural GIs, reflecting the Art. 13 of the Regulation (EU) 1151/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 21 November 2012 on quality schemes for agricultural products and foodstuff, Article 118 quaterdecies of the Regulation (EC) No. 1234/2007 of 22 October 2007 establishing a common organisation of agricultural markets and on specific provisions for certain agricultural products (Single CMO Regulation) and Art. 16 of the Regulation (EC) No. 110/2008 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 15 January 2008 on the definition, description, presentation, labelling and the protection of spirit drinks. Some level of ex officio protection should also be provided for non-agricultural GIs, as it is crucial for small producers with limited financial resources.



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