On 12 September 2023, the European Parliament approved new EU rules to shield the geographical indications (GI) for craft and industrial products, inspired by the existing rules for agricultural products.
These new rules extend protection to locally renowned non-food products such as lace, glass, natural stones, jewellery or porcelain across the EU and globally. The new scheme, already agreed on by the European Parliament in May, was adopted almost unanimously with 616 votes in favour, 9 against and 6 abstentions.
The goal of this regulation is to standardise national systems, boost consumer awareness and enhance producer competitiveness.
The new scheme at EU level and the EUIPO’s role
The legislation foresees a regular two-step registration, starting at national level and followed by an examination of the application by the EU Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) at EU level. Member states may request to be exempted from setting up a national registration procedure. In those cases, the EUIPO will be in charge of the whole procedure. Finally, the Member States will have one year to inform the Commission and the EUIPO which of the names already protected nationally should also be registered and protected at EU level.
The Council must now formally approve the agreement. The Regulation will be effective twenty days after being published in the EU Official Journal, with full implementation two years later.
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