The European Union will soon become a member of the Geneva Act of the Lisbon agreement; the decision taken this week by the EU Council is an important step towards a truly global protection system for geographical indications.
Good news for owners of registered geographical indications: on 7 October 2019 the EU Council officially approved the European Union’s membership in the Geneva Act of the Lisbon Agreement, a multilateral treaty for the protection of geographical indications managed by the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO).
The EU Council has, in fact, adopted a legal package setting the legal basis for the European Union’s accession, as well as the rules on how the EU will operate as a member of the Geneva Act.
From the practical point of view the EU’s accession to the Geneva Act, which will take effect three months after publication in the Officiale Journal of the EU, will enable all holders of geographical indications registered in the EU to easily obtain rapid, high-level and indefinite protection in other member states of the treaty.
The Geneva Act currently has 28 member states, including Italy and six other EU member states.
The accession of the EU to the Geneva Act is an important step towards the implementation of a truly global protection system for geographical indications. It is the latest result of the EU’s constant work to enhance protection for EU GI products outside the EU, which has led to the entry into force of agreements with Japan (2019), China (2017) and South Korea (2011).
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