“We are concerned about the EC’s intention to externalise the daily management of our GI specifications to the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO), which is responsible for the registration of trademarks and designs.”
This is the main message presented to the European Institutions by the associations AREPO, AREV, EFOW and oriGIn EU, representing the majority of European stakeholders of Geographical Indications (GIs), in an open letter sent yesterday.
In view of the forthcoming reform of the EU GI system, the four associations expressed their concerns about the possibility of delegating any role in terms of GI management to the EUIPO, claiming the soundness of the current legal framework for GIs in the EU, further strengthened by the recent measures adopted within the CAP, as well as the role of GIs as an instrument of public policy, local development and a fundamental part of the EU’s agricultural and trade policies.
“We consider that GIs have public functions. They are much more than mere Intellectual Property Rights. In fact, they have been considered by policy makers up to today as public policy instruments, delivering public goods to the whole European society”.
In the letter, AREPO, AREV, EFOW and oriGIn EU reaffirmed the prominent role of GIs in the Farm to Fork strategy, as a key tool to ensure sustainability while preserving territorial balance at a regional level. This is why the management of EU GIs should remain in the hands of the European Commission and should not be outsourced to any external agency.
“Moreover, it is crucial to take into account the fact that our GI specifications include more and more provisions that go beyond the protection of the name. As a result, the European Commission is the only authority that has the expertise to deal with them, as it has the ability to assess elements of GI specifications that deal with sustainability (inherent to GIs), quality, fair competition, etc. all elements which are going to be more and more central given the EU’s Green Deal”.
Therefore, “the current GI policy is more than just protecting a name, it is an integral and successful part of the common agricultural and rural development policy. It should remain part of it and be fully managed by the European Commission”.
More information :
Click here to read the open letter to the European Institutions on the reform of the EU geographical indications policy: