GENEVA, NOVEMBER 26- The Geneva Act of the Lisbon Agreement on Appellations of Origin and Geographical Indication reached an important milestone 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.
“The adhesion of the EU to the Geneva Act is an important step, always desired by Italy, towards the goal of extending the protection of geographical indications and appellations,” said Ambassador Gian Lorenzo Cornado -Permanent Representative of Italy at OOII- during a ceremony at the Geneva headquarters of WIPO, the World Intellectual Property Organization.
The event opened with a panel discussion among the European Commissioner of Agricultural, Phil Hogan, and the Director General of OMPI, Francis Gurry, and the international advisor for geographical indications, Bagal, on the potential of geographical indications and appellations for economic growth. Following the event, an exhibition featured some European geographical indications such as Italian wines and Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese.
“The EU has invested more than twenty years’ work to develop a successful Geographical Indications policy, protecting the intellectual property of our farmers and food producers at home and abroad,” said Mr. Hogan: “With this accession to the Geneva Act, we are reinforcing our commitment to promote food quality and traceability at the international level. This will bring clear benefits to our global partners as well as EU producers, consumers, growth and jobs.”
“Protecting intellectual property and the IIGG is a priority for Italy not only as an instrument for the safeguarding and valorization of our products, but also as a medium, on an international level, for the promotion of sustainable development, a growth respectful of local realities, and the conservation of biodiversity through the protection of traditional cultures”, said Cornado.
The Geneva Act of the Lisbon Agreement, adopted May 20, 2015, allows the international registration of geographical indications and appellations of origin through a single registration procedure with WIPO, and permits the accession to the Act by certain intergovernmental organizations, including the European Union and the African Intellectual Property Organization (OAPI). The foundational Lisbon Agreement for the Protection of Appellations of Origin and their International Registration was originally concluded in 1958. (SB@OnuItalia)