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    Geographical Indications Register Gains Ground Outside WTO

    Published on 30 January 2012 @ 11:14 pm

    By , Intellectual Property Watch

    A private sector-led effort to compile a global register of geographical indications is gaining support, topped by a sizeable donation from the Italian government. The effort is being undertaken outside the World Trade Organization in spite of an agreed – but long stalled – mandate at WTO to create a register.

    On 26 January, the Italian Ministry of Agricultural, Food and Forestry Products announced a donation of €120,000 euros to the project, which was launched in October by the Geneva-based Organization for an International Geographical Indications Network (OriGIn) (IPW, Trademarks/Geographical Indications/Domains, 10 October 2011).

    “We believe this initiative will fill a gap at the international level. Having the relevant information concerning the GIs protected in the various jurisdictions in one unique source will represent an invaluable tool for producers, consumers, researchers, trademark examiners, officials within Ministries of Agriculture and other public authorities and will facilitate the protection of GIs worldwide,” Riccardo Deserti, Chief of the Minister of Agriculture Technical Cabinet, said in a statement.

    Institutions such as the Qualivita Foundation, which is working on an international encyclopedia of agro-food GIs, and the University of California Berkeley School of Law – have expressed a strong interest to join forces and cooperate with oriGIn in this ambitious endeavor, the group said.

    Discussions are underway with other potential donors, OriGIn said.

    “OriGIn welcomes contributions from all interested parties (governmental authorities, producers’ groups, international organizations, NGOs, trademark offices, law firms, universities, research centers, foundations, etc.) wishing to cooperate in the project of creating an online compilation of all GIs protected in the world,” it said.

    Geographical indications, products with particular characteristics named after places, are being positioned as a tool for sustainable development in local communities.

    GIs also appear on the agenda of the World Intellectual Property Organization Standing Committee on the Law of Trademarks (SCT), which meets this week from 1-3 February.

    [Note: paragraph modified] Establishing a GI register for wines and spirits was agreed as a mandate by all WTO members at the launch of the Doha Round in 2001, and has been an item on the agenda of the WTO Council on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS), which meets next on 28-29 February. [Correction: the GI register talks have been taking place in parallel special sessions under the responsibility of the director-general. The GI register is not on the next TRIPS Council agenda.] Last year, discussions accelerated early in the year and then slowed along with an overall slowdown of the WTO Doha Round (IPW, WTO/TRIPS, 23 October 2011).

    The project website is here.

    William New may be reached at wnew@ip-watch.ch.

     


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    We welcome your participation in article and blog comment threads, and other discussion forums, where we encourage you to analyse and react to the content available on the Intellectual Property Watch website. By participating in discussions or reader forums, or by submitting opinion pieces or comments to articles, blogs, reviews or multimedia features, you are consenting to these rules.

    We welcome your participation in article and blog comment threads, and other discussion forums, where we encourage you to analyse and react to the content available on the Intellectual Property Watch website.

    By participating in discussions or reader forums, or by submitting opinion pieces or comments to articles, blogs, reviews or multimedia features, you are consenting to these rules.

    1. You agree that you are fully responsible for the content that you post. You will not knowingly post content that violates the copyright, trademark, patent or other intellectual property right of any third party or which you know is under a confidentiality obligation preventing its publication and that you will request removal of the same should you discover that you have violated this provision. Likewise, you may not post content that is libelous, defamatory, obscene, abusive, that violates a third party's right to privacy, that otherwise violates any applicable local, state, national or international law, that amounts to spamming or that is otherwise inappropriate. You may not post content that degrades others on the basis of gender, race, class, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sexual preference, disability or other classification. Epithets and other language intended to intimidate or to incite violence are also prohibited. Furthermore, you may not impersonate others.

    2. You understand and agree that Intellectual Property Watch is not responsible for any content posted by you or third parties. You further understand that IP Watch does not monitor the content posted. Nevertheless, IP Watch may monitor the any user-generated content as it chooses and reserves the right to remove, edit or otherwise alter content that it deems inappropriate for any reason whatever without consent nor notice. We further reserve the right, in our sole discretion, to remove a user's privilege to post content on our site. IP Watch is not in any manner endorsing the content of the discussion forums and cannot and will not vouch for its reliability or otherwise accept liability for it.

    3. By submitting any contribution to IP Watch, you warrant that your contribution is your own original work and that you have the right to make it available to IP Watch for all purposes and you agree to indemnify IP Watch, its directors, employees and agents against all damages, legal fees and others expenses that may be incurred by IP Watch as a result of your breach of warranty or of these terms.

    4. You further agree not to publish any personal information about yourself or anyone else (for example telephone number or home address). If you add a comment to a blog, be aware that your email address will be apparent.

    5. IP Watch will not be liable for any loss including but not limited to the following (whether such losses are foreseen, known or otherwise): loss of data, loss of revenue or anticipated profit, loss of business, loss of opportunity, loss of goodwill or injury to reputation, losses suffered by third parties, any indirect, consequential or exemplary damages.

    6. You understand and agree that the discussion forums are to be used only for non-commercial purposes. You may not solicit funds, promote commercial entities or otherwise engage in commercial activity in our discussion forums.

    7. You acknowledge and agree that you use and/or rely on any information obtained through the discussion forums at your own risk.

    8. For any content that you post, you hereby grant to IP Watch the royalty-free, irrevocable, perpetual, exclusive and fully sub-licensable license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, perform and display such content in whole or in part, world-wide and to incorporate it in other works, in any form, media or technology now known or later developed.

    9. These terms and your posts and contributions shall be governed and interpreted in accordance with the laws of Switzerland (without giving effect to conflict of laws principles thereof) and any dispute exclusively settled by the Courts of the Canton of Geneva.

     

     
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