The Geneva Act of the Lisbon Agreement: A Breakthrough for Member Countries

The Lisbon Agreement on Appellations of Origin and Geographical Indications (GI) is an international treaty that protects appellations of origin and geographical indications. The Lisbon Agreement was concluded in 1958 and has been signed and ratified by over 30 countries around the world. The aim of the treaty is to protect the names of products that have geographical origins, such as Champagne, Roquefort cheese, and Darjeeling tea.

In 2015, a new chapter was added to the Lisbon Agreement: the Geneva Act. The Geneva Act addresses some of the concerns expressed by member countries regarding the Lisbon Agreement, making it more effective and flexible. The main goal of the Geneva Act is to provide better protection to GIs and appellations of origin in member countries.

One of the main features of the Geneva Act is the possibility for member countries to protect GIs and appellations of origin of goods that are not necessarily agro-food products. This means that products like handicrafts, manufactured goods, and natural products can also be protected under the Lisbon Agreement. This change is significant because it allows a broader range of products to be protected and promotes the diversification of the economies of member countries.

Another important feature of the Geneva Act is the possibility for member countries to protect GIs and appellations of origin of goods that are not restricted to a specific geographical area. The Lisbon Agreement required that the products had to come from a specific geographical area to be eligible for protection. However, under the Geneva Act, a product can be protected if it has a certain quality, reputation, or other characteristics that are derived from its geographical origin.

The Geneva Act also introduces some procedural changes in the Lisbon Agreement. It simplifies the registration process and reduces the time and costs involved in registering GIs and appellations of origin. Moreover, it provides for the creation of a single electronic database, where all registered GIs and appellations of origin will be listed.

In conclusion, the Geneva Act of the Lisbon Agreement is a breakthrough for member countries. It provides better protection to GIs and appellations of origin, allows a broader range of products to be protected, promotes the diversification of economies, and simplifies the registration process. The Geneva Act will undoubtedly contribute to the promotion of sustainable development, the preservation of cultural heritage, and the enhancement of the competitiveness of member countries.