An Interview With WIPO Director General Francis Gurry On The New Lisbon Act For GIs

WIPO DG Francis Gurry

Members of the Lisbon Agreement for the Protection of Appellations of Origin and their International Registration on 20 May agreed on a new Act of the agreement, extending protection previously granted only to appellations of origins to geographical indications. The World Intellectual Property Organization is responsible for this agreement. After the signing ceremony at WIPO, Intellectual Property Watch sat down with WIPO Director General Francis Gurry to discuss the new Act.

At WIPO, 11 Members Sign New Act Protecting GIs, More To Follow

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Today, the signing ceremony of the new World Intellectual Property Organization agreement to protect geographical indications was held. On the first day, 11 members, mostly current Lisbon members, signed the Geneva Act of the Lisbon Agreement for the Protection of Appellations of Origin and Geographical Indications.

New Act Protecting Geographical Indications Adopted At WIPO

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Today, a small number of World Intellectual Property Organization members adopted a new Geneva Act of a treaty protecting appellations of origin and geographical indications. The Act is the revision of a previous treaty which only covered appellations of origin. This adoption was made to the dismay of other WIPO members, which despite efforts to accommodate their views could not reconcile being denied the right to vote in a United Nations body. They said the agreement among a few members could affect all.

Lisbon Members Near Completion Of New Act On Geographical Indications

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[Update: the new Act has been adopted. More to come.] After a week of drafting, a handful of World Intellectual Property Organization members – with often divergent input from other WIPO members – are close to concluding a new international agreement on the protection of geographical indications.

France, Italy, Heavyweights Of Lisbon Appellations Of Origin System; Africa Struggling

Lisbon members by number of AO registrations

A small number of World Intellectual Property Organization members this week are negotiating to expand a treaty to protect geographical indications, products like Champagne. Under the old treaty, which protects appellations of origin, over half of the registrations are in France, and another large amount in Italy. According to an analysis, many of the 28 members of the treaty have zero or very few registrations, raising the question of how the new GI protection will be different if agreed.

Drafting Exercise For WIPO Delegates As Lisbon Members Advance On New Act of Treaty

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Members of a World Intellectual Property Organization-managed treaty protecting appellations of origin this week are working to add geographical indications to the treaty. They are addressing issues not yet agreed upon, including the sustainability of the system, and how to address prior use of such geographical indications by trademark owners.

Ebola R&D, Antibiotic Resistance, Neglected Diseases Among Issues At This Year’s World Health Assembly

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The annual World Health Assembly opens next week with a focus on antimicrobial resistance, the Ebola outbreak, and research and development. Other subject of interests will be World Health Organization engagement with outside stakeholders, such as non-governmental organisations and the private sector, and a potential pooled fund for research and development for neglected diseases.

Substantive Work On Amendment of Lisbon System Starts; New Language Proposed

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World Intellectual Property Organization members negotiating a new version of a treaty protecting appellations of origin started fine-tuning the wording of the potential amended treaty’s articles, trying to find common language on remaining issues, such as trans-border geographical areas of origin, and the required information in applications.

WIPO Diplomatic Conference On GIs Starts With 28 Member Governments

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Last-ditch efforts by a range of World Intellectual Property Organization members to join treaty negotiations at WIPO this week failed, as the 28 members of the treaty rejected a proposal to allow non-members. As a result, WIPO’s biggest-paying member called into question the future legitimacy of the UN organisation.

Q&A With US On Concerns About Lisbon GI Treaty Negotiation

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Next week, the 28 members of the Lisbon Agreement for the Protection of Appellations of Origin and their International Registration administered by the World Intellectual Property Organization are expected to conduct a high-level negotiating meeting to agree on a new Act of the agreement. Major changes expected are the inclusion of geographical indications in the agreement, and the possibility for intergovernmental organisations such as the European Union to become members of the revised agreement.

The United States has been among the leading countries concerned about the negotiation. In a Q&A, the US in written answers explained the concerns. The questions were sent by Intellectual Property Watch’s Catherine Saez.