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The Protection of Geographical Indications - The EU system -: 

The Protection of Geographical Indications - The EU system - TAIEX Seminar on the protection of Geographical Indications (GIs) – Challenges in Poland after accession to the EU Warsaw, 26 April 2006 antonio.fernandez-martos@cec.eu.int DG TRADE, European Commission

The EU approach: setting the scene: 

The EU approach: setting the scene Starting point: EU policies and GIs: CAP, consumer policy, trade policy aspects Geographical environment + « Savoir-faire » = Products with special qualities linked to the area whose name (in principle) they carry protection of diversity and traditions in Europe…and abroad Different procedures depending of the product (question of competences between Member States and the Community) Agricultural and foodstuff products: Community registration system, EU wide protection (Regulation 510/06) Wines and spirits: national registration, EU wide publication, EU wide protection (Regulations 1493/99 and 1576/89). New Spirits Regulation proposal currently under discussion Other products: protection by Member States Additional means of protection: legislation on labelling, on misleading advertising, and on unfair competition

Community system: basic legislation: 

Community system: basic legislation Council Regulation (EC) No 510/06 of 20 March 2006 on the protection of geographical indications and designations of origin for agricultural products and foodstuffs Regulation 510/06 covers… Agricultural products intended for human consumption Foodstuffs (Beers, beverages from plant extracts, pastry, pasta…) Non-food agricultural products (essential oils, cork, flowers and ornamental plants, wool…) May not be registered… Generic names Rules of conflict on… Names of plant varieties and animal breeds, homonymous names, and trademarks Recent Panel brought by US & Australia

Community system: basic legislation & WTO Panel: 

Community system: basic legislation & WTO Panel Council Regulation (EC) No 510/06 replaced Council Regulation 2081/92 following a WTO Panel brought by the US & Australia against it. Panel report was adopted on 20 April 2005. Main claims of US and Australia against Regulation 2081/92: Registration of foreign GIs, including issue of inspection structures « Coexistence » between GIs and certain prior trademarks Results of the WTO Panel: largely satisfactory for the EU Need to clarify that system is open to foreign GIs Need to remove compulsory participation of foreign governments in registration procedure of GIs Confirmation that « coexistence » is consistent with WTO rules Confirmation that requirement of inspection structures is consistent with WTO rules

PDO and PGI: two concepts, same protection: 

PDO and PGI: two concepts, same protection Both consist of the name of a region, a specific place or, in exceptional cases, a country, used to describe an agricultural product or foodstuff… AOP …originating in that region, specific place or country, and the quality or characteristics of which are essentially or exclusively due to a particular geographical environment with its inherent natural or human factors, and the production, processing and preparation of which take place in the defined geographical area IGP ...originating in that region, specific place or country, and which possesses a specific quality, reputation or other characteristics attributable to that geograhical origin, and the production and/or processing and/or preparation of which take place in the defined geographical area

PDO and PGI: two concepts, two logos…same protection: 

PDO and PGI: two concepts, two logos…same protection AOP IGP IMPORTANT QUESTION: What do GIs protect? The registered names (and not the products or methods of production themselves)

PDO / PGI: Differences?: 

PDO / PGI: Differences? COMMON FEATURES Existence of link with the « territory » Geographical names (but not always) Types of product Originating in the area whose name they carry Procedure Level of protection KEY DIFFERENCE « Intensity » of link with territory number of steps that have to take place in the relevant “geographical area”

Registration procedure (I): 

Registration procedure (I) The products must comply with a «product specification », which shall include at least: the name of the product the description of the product the definition of the geographical area proof of geographical origin: traceability must be ensured description of the method of obtaining the product justification of the link with the geographical environment inspection and control structures the specific labelling details relating to the indication PDO or PGI

Registration procedure (II): 

Registration procedure (II) An association of producers/processors applies for registration Application must include the product specification + single document Application shall be sent to the Member State / third country government where geographical area is located, or, for GIs outside the EU, directly to the European Commission If application satisfies requirements of Regulation and is justified, and after national objection procedure, Member State/third country shall forward single document and specification reference to the Commission Within a period of twelve months the European Commission verifies whether the application for registration is justified and meets the conditions laid down in the Regulation. If the Commission concludes that the name qualifies for protection, it publishes the single document and specification reference in the OJ A six months period for opposition is opened

Registration procedure (III): 

Registration procedure (III) Who can object to registration? Any Member State or third country, as well as any legitimately concerned natural or legal person outside Member State of origin, Within a six month period after publication in the OJ, by sending a duly substantiated statement On which grounds is an objection justified? Has to show: a) non-compliance with the conditions linked to the concept PDO or PGI, notably the absence of a link between « product » and « territory»; or, b) registration would impair the existence of a homonym or of a trademark or of products which have been on the market for at least 5 years; or, c) name is generic in nature

Protection granted: 

Protection granted Subject the names registered (and not the products / methods de production themselves) Scope PDO/PGI are protected against any… Direct or indirect commercial use for comparable products / exploits the reputation Misuse, imitation or evocation, even if the true origin is indicated, or the protected name is translated or accompanied with « style », « type », « method »… Other false or misleading indication regarding provenance, origin, nature, qualities…or practice liable to mislead the public as to the true origin of the product Trademarks and GIs: peaceful co-existence. “Geographical” trademarks are not registered (in principle). Conflicts are unusual, but rules are necessary: “conflicting” trademarks have to be refused / invalidated; a GI liable to mislead the public with regard to a prior trademark has to be refused; plus “coexistence”

Effects of GI protection: Comté (PDO) - Emmental: 

Effects of GI protection: Comté (PDO) - Emmental Production (tons) Milk price (€/Kg) Gross price (€/Kg) Retail price (€/Kg)

Effects of GI protection: the Piment d´Espelette: 

Effects of GI protection: the Piment d´Espelette In April 1993, as a reaction to cases of fraud, an association to protect the « Piment d'Espelette » is established. AOC was obtained in 2000, PDO in 2002 Effects of protection: Increase in prices: 10€ (94) 20€ (04) Increase in number of producers (30 to 58) Increase in number of Plants (195.000 to 530.000) Increase in surface (8 to 28 ha) In a context of ageing rural population, « young » average age (between 25 and 45) Effect on tourism: 600.000 visitors per year (600 inhab.), Fête du Piment, Confrérie du Piment d'Espelette…

Effects of GI protection: pruneau d’ Agen: 

Effects of GI protection: pruneau d’ Agen Production cost: 2 times the cost in California, 3 times the cost in Chile, 4 times Argentinean cost Increase in production and exports: 50.000 tons per year 1.800 family farms with average of 40 ha.

Challenges ahead…: 

Challenges ahead… Implement Regulation 510/06: including more homogeneous treatment of applications by Member States and “single document” Adopt new Regulation on spirit drinks: proposal currently under discussion (COM(2005) 125 final) rules similar to agri-food GIs New Proposal on wines under consideration: likely to include similar rules as well Finalise and implement results of DDA negotiations: GI extension and GI multilateral register A single Community system for GIs for all goods…?

Protection in the WTO…: 

Protection in the WTO… TRIPS Agreement (WTO): essential for the international protection of GIs…but level still insufficient Solutions: “multilateral GI register” and “extension” of GI protection in the WTO The “multilateral GI register”: the EU proposed model in the DDA EU notifies “Bordeaux” Other Members of the WTO oppose registration: USA, China, New Zealand, Chile, Morroco Effects: GI “Bordeaux” will be presumed GI, it will no longer be possible to refuse registration at the national level based on the generic nature of the name or the non-respect of the conditions of the GI definition, except for the Members having challenged registration within the established deadline.


…and its “extension”: TRIPS – EU, a comparison Weak Protection (allows “Parmesan from Australia”) Strong Protection (“type Manchego” , or translations such as “Parmesan”,forbidden) Total Protection (any abuse is forbidden, even evocations or any other abusive use)

The Protection of Geographical Indications - The EU system -: 

The Protection of Geographical Indications - The EU system - Thank you for your attention antonio.fernandez-martos@cec.eu.int DG TRADE, European Commission

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