A new act concerning Geographical Indications (GIs) has recently been
adopted in Geneva. The Geneva Act of the Lisbon Agreement on Appellations of Origin and Geographical Indications (the Geneva Act) will revise the
Lisbon System and provide an international registration system for GIs. GIs are place names (in some countries also words associated with a place) which are used to identify the origin and quality, reputation or other characteristics of products (for example, “Champagne”, “Tequila” or “Roquefort”). The adoption in May 2015 of the Geneva Act will now allow the international registration of geographical indications. Other changes affect fee provisions, scope of protection, protection against becoming generic, and safeguards for respect of prior trade mark rights. A GI can be an extremely valuable asset for producers whose products are specifically tied to a location – often these products are marketed globally. The new Geneva Act will provide additional security for these producers by allowing for a harmonised and cohesive system for the international registration of GIs, and also illustrates IP law engaging with the global consumption habits of the burgeoning middle classes from emerging markets.
Food & Drink / Trademarks
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