EC Proposes New GI Procedures
Also in the press release,
"However," reports Bodoni, "the WTO panel decision was not clear-cut, leaving both sides claiming victory when it was announced. The WTO panel agreed with the US and Australia that the EU's GI Regulation was inconsistent with TRIPs in that it restricted prior trade mark owners from attacking registered GIs."
In a panel ruling issued in 2004, the WTO upheld the integrity of the EU’s
geographical indications system and rejected the majority of the claims made by
the United States and Australia. These regulations will bring the scheme into
conformity on the two areas that were criticised: firstly by formally deleting
the requirement for “reciprocity and equivalence” from the regulations and
secondly by allowing third country operators to submit applications and
objections directly rather than through their governments. The deadline for
implementing the ruling is set to expire in April 2006.
More about the GI controversy here.