oriGIn Alerts 27 September 2017: #China #EU #Canada #EU #CETA #Quebec #NewZealand #Wines #Spirits #Mexico #EU

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#China #EU: oriGIn seeks full protection for the GIs submitted by the parties

The EU and China are currently negotiating a bilateral agreement on the protection of GIs.

In this framework, an opposition procedure for the first list of GIs submitted by the parties (100 for each side) is taking place. From 2nd of June to the 2nd of August, China received oppositions concerning EU GIs in the wine, food and spirit sectors.

oriGIn is following closely the opposition procedure, to make sure full protection is given to all GIs submitted by the parties. In particular:

  • It sent a letter to the concerned Chinese authorities (AQSIQ), clarifying that oppositions based on “common names” and “semi-genericity” clash with internationally recognized Intellectually Property Rights (IPRs) rules and principles, in particular with the GIs provisions of the WTO TRIPs Agreement;
  • It is in touch with the EU authorities to ensure coordination with the relevant GIs groups in the preparation of solid responses to such oppositions. 


#Canada #EU #CETA #Quebec: New legislation & GIs recognition

On 21 September, the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) between the EU and Canada entered into force provisionally. CETA GIs provisions are therefore operational, as any other rule covering sectors of EU exclusive competence.

In this context, to fulfil its obligations under the CETA, the Canadian government passed last May Bill C-30 (“An Act to implement the CETA between Canada and the European Union and its Member States and to provide for certain other measures”). The new legislation introduces a number of amendments to the Trademarks Act related to the protection of GIs, in particular:

  1. It amends the definition of GIs, extending the scope of protection beyond wine and spirits to agricultural products and foodstuff;
  2. It provides for protection of EU GIs found in Annex 20-A of the CETA;
  3. In addition to the GIs of Annex 20-A, other GIs can be recognised and protected in Canada by making a request with the registrar.

For more information, see the full text of the Bill and a detailed analysis 

Meanwhile in Quebec, “Maïs sucré de Neuville” has been recognized as a GI and the application for “vin du Québec” is in process . Together with “Maïs sucré de Neuville”, currently 3 other GIs are recognized in Quebec: “Agneau de Charlevoix”, “Vin de glace du Québec” and “Cidre de glace du Québec”.


#NewZealand #Wines #Spirits: The GIs Act is now in force

Following its adoption at the end of 2016, the New Zealand Geographical Indications (Wine and Spirits) Registration Act 2006 entered into force.

The Act creates a GIs register administered by the Intellectual Property Office of New Zealand (IPONZ). A registration (following an examination and opposition process) is effective for 5 years and can be renewed for further periods of 10 years. The system is open to foreign GIs and “Scotch Whisky” has been one of the first applications. The Act provides a solid level of protection, as a person may use a registered foreign GI in relation to a wine or spirit only if the wine or spirit originated in the place of geographical origin to which the foreign GI relates, and the foreign GI is used in accordance with the scope of its protection in its country of origin (including any conditions as to its use), and its registration in New Zealand (including any conditions imposed). Such restrictions apply whether or not the true place of origin of the wine or spirit is indicated, the registered GI is used in translation, or the use of the registered GI is accompanied by any of the words “kind”, “type”, “style”, “imitation” (or any similar word or expression).

More information available @ https://www.iponz.govt.nz/about-ip/geographical-indications/


#Mexico #EU: List of EU GIs to be protected via the trade agreement under negotiations

In May 2016, the EU and Mexico launched the negotiations to modernize the existing trade agreement which entered into force in 1997which entered into force in 1997. While the existing agreement does not cover intellectual property (IP), the new one will have an IP chapter, including provisions on the protection of GIs. The existence of the WIPO Lisbon Agreement for the Protection of Appellations of Origin (to which Mexico and 6 EU members – Bulgaria, Czech Republic, France, Hungary, Italy, Portugal and Slovakia – are party), and the EU-Mexico Agreement on the mutual recognition and protection of designations for spirit drinks, are facilitating the negotiations on GIs.

In this framework, on 11 August, Mexico published for opposition the list of GIs that the EU intends to protect via the agreement (there are no spirits because they are protected by the spirit drinks agreement). The EU intends to include the EU GIs already protected via the Lisbon Agreement in the bilateral agreement as well. The deadline for opposition is 11 October.

On the Mexican side, there seem to be around 30 GIs, but the list is not finalised yet. The EU will proceed with the publication for opposition later this year.

oriGIn will keep on monitoring these negotiations, as well as a problematic new GIs law currently under discussion in Mexico





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