On 9 October 2023, the EU Council adopted a new regulation to protect the geographical indications (GIs) of renowned non-food craft and industrial products, such as Murano glass and Donegal tweed.
The regulation from the European Parliament and the Council aims to enable artisans and producers, particularly small businesses, to promote and protect names of their craft and industrial products whose characteristics are essentially attributable to their place of origin.
The objective is to enhance consumers’ ability to recognise and appreciate the quality of these products, facilitating consumers to make more informed choices. Consequently, it will become easier to support the promotion, attraction and retention of skills and job opportunities in the EU.
The regulation comes in the wake of the existing GI protection rules for wines, spirit drinks, foodstuffs and other agricultural products, a framework which has been in place since 1992.
EUIPO’s role in craft and industrial geographical indications
The EUIPO, integral to this change, will oversee the registration process, ensuring simplicity and affordability. Producers, through their respective Member States, will approach the EUIPO for final GI approvals. States without a local system can opt for a direct procedure, enabling their producers to liaise directly with the EUIPO.
The EU's recent move aligns with the 2020 IP Action Plan and the Lisbon Agreement, supported by the Geneva Act, simplifying global registration for geographical indications. This commitment ensures full leverage of its protective mechanisms.
The vote by the Council today, 9 October, is the last step in the decision-making procedure. This closes the adoption procedure. The regulation will now be signed by the co-legislators on 18 October at the Strasbourg Plenary. It will then be published in the EU’s Official Journal in early November and will enter into force 20 days later, in parallel with the Council’s decision.
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The article was first published here.