Thursday, 24 July 2014

Green paper on geographical indications (GIs) for non-agricultural products

Scottish tartans soon protected as GI?
While others are on holiday, the Commission launched a Green Paper consultation on a possible extenision of geographical indication protection to non-agricultural products. All interested stakeholders are invited to send their comments and suggestions by 28 October 2014.

A GI is a sign, usually a name, used on goods that have a specific geographical origin and possess qualities, characteristics or a reputation essentially attributable to that place of origin. Contrary to other intellectual property rights such as trademarks or patents, GIs are available to all producers whose products originate in the defined geographical area and comply with the specifications set out for the GI.

To date, unitary GI protection at EU level is provided for wines, spirit drinks, aromatised wines, agricultural products and foodstuff only. However, the EU is bound by rules on protecting GIs under TRIPS, which covers both agricultural and non-agricultural products.

If you are interested in how non-agricultural products are protected as GIs in the Member States at the moment, have a look at this study mandated by the Commission. Enjoy the rest of the summer!

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