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Archived updates for Wednesday, December 22, 2004

WTO GI Consultations Under Way

On December 16, 2004, World Trade Organization members considered how to proceed in discussions on whether to extend to other products the current protection for geographical indications (GI) currently accorded to wines and spirits under the Agreement on Trade-related IntellectualProperty Rights (TRIPS). According to BRIDGES Trade BioRes on December 20, 2004, most of the discussions centered on traditional arguments over whether or not to extend GI protection (see BRIDGES Trade BioRes, December 6, 2001). Members also differed over whether future discussions should focus only on GI extensions (as advocated by Switzerland, the EU and Bulgaria) or should be broadened to also include other GI-related issues (as advocated by Australia), such as the Multilateral Register for GIs currently being negotiated in the TRIPS Council, and the the EU's "clawback" proposal to reclaim terms used in other countries which has been submitted as a market access issue in the agriculture negotiations.

The Chair of the meeting, WTO DeputyDirector-General Mr Thompson-Flôres, will prepare a list of topics to be covered by the next meetings in February and March 2005.
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