WTO Inches Forward on GI Protection
The European Union is supporting a legally-binding, mandatory register for wines and spirits, the extension of such protection to products beyond wines and spirits, and a proposed claw-back list of products which retrospectively should receive GI protection. The register is scheduled to be discussed at a special session of the WTO Council on the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) on 16-17 March.
Although the meeting was only on procedure, it indicates that the discussion on GI issues is still active. The issue is being pushed by the European Union.
At a meeting in Washington last week, European Trade Commissioner Peter Mandelson emphasised that without any progress on GI issues in the Doha negotiation round, it would be very difficult to make any move at all, according to a EU official. He said that it was a matter of respecting the EU’s “value-added products” and names associated with European products.