19 August 2021 News

Musiza C., A pathway to international registration for African Geographical Indications under the Geneva Act: The case for Oku White Honey, Journal of Intellectual Property Law & Practice, Volume 16, Issue 4-5, April-May 2021, Pages 394–401

At a Diplomatic Conference in May 2015, the Special Union of the Lisbon Agreement on Appellations of Origin amended the Lisbon Agreement which sees the subject matter and scope of protection extending beyond appellations of origin to include geographical indications. The amendment, the Geneva Act of the Lisbon Agreement on Appellations of Origin and Geographical Indications opens the pathway for international registration of geographical indications, which previously never existed under the Lisbon Agreement and which failed to materialise under the TRIPS Agreement. This article examines key provisions of the Geneva Act that could make it attractive to African countries. It explores the state of GIs on the continent and the interest in GIs as an avenue for rural development as reinforced by the African Union Continental Strategy for GIs. It makes a case for the Organisation Africaine de la Propriété Intellectuelle (OAPI) to consider joining the Geneva Act and seek the international registration of Oku White Honey from Cameroon as one of the first GIs in the region.