The Geneva Act of the Lisbon Agreement on Appellations of Origin and Geographical Indications reached a milestone enabling its entry into force, as the European Union (EU) joined as the key fifth member of the international registration system that provides protection for names identifying the geographic origin of products such as coffee, tea, fruits, wine, pottery, glass and cloth.
Appellations of origin and geographical indications are distinctive product designations that require a qualitative link between the product to which they refer and its place of origin. Both are interesting marketing tools for producers, as they inform consumers about a product’s geographical origin and a quality, characteristic and/or reputation of the product linked to its place of origin. The basic difference between the two terms is that the link with the place of origin is stronger in the case of an appellation of origin.
Like all intellectual property rights, the rights granted by an appellation of origin or a geographical indication fundamentally have a territorial character and only take effect in the country or region in which the distinctive sign is protected.
The Lisbon System offers an international registration system for appellations of origin and geographical indications through a single procedure with WIPO. By means of a single registration procedure and a minimum expense, the holder of a national or regional appellation of origin or geographical indication may obtain the protection of the distinctive sign in the other contracting parties of the Lisbon System.
Examples of appellations of origin and geographical indications include Kampot Pepper, Darjeeling Tea, Panjin Rice, Café de Colombia, Prosciutto di Parma, Oku Honey, Scotch Whisky, Tequila, Argane, Chulucanas, Khokhloma, Chiangmai Celadon, Swiss Watches and Bohemia Crystal.
[Press Release dt. 26-11-2019]