- Trade topics
- Geographical IndicationsIntellectual property
GI status gives consumers a guarantee of authenticity, quality and distinctiveness linked to origin, while protecting producers ('GI users')from competitors trying to exploit their reputation and know-how developed to produce genuine high-quality products.
EU trade policy and geographical indications
Adequate protection and enforcement of geographical indications (GIs) at international level is of key interest in the EU's trade agenda. The EU is active at multilateral and bilateral level to improve the protection of geographical indications and to enhance intellectual property (IP) enforcement frameworks to prevent usurpations and misuse of EU GIs worldwide.
At multilateral level
The WTO’s 1994 agreement on intellectual property contains a section on geographical indications. It enhances their protection and extends it to more countries than previous international agreements.
The EU is one of the main supporters of negotiations on geographical indications in the WTO’s Doha Development Agenda.
Negotiations have included establishing an international register for geographical indications and the extending the protection currently granted to wines and spirits to all products.
At bilateral level
The EU negotiates GI protection under trade agreements (FTAs) or specific 'standalone' agreements on geographical indications.
Bilateral agreements include ambitious outcomes on GIs that significantly improve GI protection in the territory of the trade partner at a level comparable to that of the EU. In addition, enforcement is enhanced by the opportunity to uphold GI rights via administrative enforcement, including measures at the border, on top of judicial action. Besides rules and principles, the agreements include lists of GIs to be protected under the FTAs.
In the EU, two civil dialogue groups advise the EU's agriculture department on geographical indications in international trade:
More on geographical indications
Geographical indications for:
Geographical Indications Gateway - Information on GI laws, treaties, committees, and symposiums
World Intellectual Property Organization Lex - Search for national laws on intellectual property rights, including GIs