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Changes Happen Slowly – Some Comments on Geographical Indications Between the Geneva Act and Regulation 2019/1753

Georg Miribung
Keywords: Geographical Indications, Regulation 2019/1753, Geneva Act, Industrial Property

In October 2019, the European Union acceded to the Geneva Act of the Lisbon Agreement on appellations of origin and geographical indications (GIs). In this regard, Regulation n. 1753 lays down the rules and procedures the European Commission must apply. Accordingly, the Commission is now responsible (a) for registering GIs with the International Bureau of the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO), (b) for requesting the WIPO to withdraw GIs of Member States, (c) for the assessment of GIs of third countries (non-EU member states) entered under the Geneva Act, and (d) for objections to applications for entry of new GIs of third countries in the International Register. Specific provisions shall help to protect the interests of both the concerned Member States and parties from third countries. Apart from the welcomed positive effects of this accession on consumers and producers in the European Union, it is stressed that an important consequence thereof will be the territorial extension of the protection granted under the Geneva Act. Yet, only time will tell the extent of which Reg. 1753 ultimately helped to establish a coherent international system for the protection of GIs, in line with other more established systems for the international protection of industrial property rights.

Georg Miribung does research and teaches in the area of agricultural and food law at the Free University of Bozen-Bolzano.


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