19 August 2021 News

Verbeeren M., Vrins O., The protection of PDOs and PGIs against evocation: a ‘Grand Cru’ in the CJEU’s cellar?, Journal of Intellectual Property Law & Practice, Volume 16, Issue 4-5, April-May 2021, Pages 316–330

In recent years, the European Union (EU) GI systems for agricultural products, foodstuffs, wines and spirit drinks have become increasingly popular: on 27 October 2020, the eAmbrosia database totalled no less than 3300 designations of origin or geographical indications registered under four different regulations and 197 pending applications.
The legal framework secures producers’ rights and their products’ value-added. It affords broad protection to PDOs/PGIs registered at EU level, not only against direct or indirect uses but also against evocations, with the aim of combatting misleading and deceptive practices and preventing traders from taking unfair advantage of the protected names’ reputation. This article examines the jurisprudence of the EU’s General Court and Court of Justice related to the protection of registered designations against evocation, and highlights the open issues that remain to be addressed to clarify the legal arsenal and tighten the protection scheme.