Once this regulation is finally approved, geographical indications (GIs), which up to now were used mainly for foods and beverages, will be enlarged to industrial products whose qualities are essentially linked to the area of production, such as Bohemian glass, Limoges porcelain or Solingen cutlery.
Importance of GI rules
The EU currently has specific GI protection rules for wines, spirit drinks, foodstuffs, and other agricultural products. Champagne and Prosciutto di Parma are well-known examples of agricultural GIs.
However, there is currently no EU-wide GI protection for craft and industrial goods. This regulation aims to establish directly applicable GI protection for craft and industrial products (such as jewellery, textiles, glass, porcelain, etc.) at EU level, complementing the existing EU protection for GIs in the agricultural domain.
GI protection for such products will lead to more innovation and investment in crafts by helping artisans and producers, particularly SMEs, to promote and protect their traditional know-how at EU level in compliance with EU competition rules.
Main points of the agreement
The political agreement reached today with the Parliament:
- guarantees the coherence with GI protection rules for agricultural products by applying the concept of ‘protected geographical indications’ (so-called ‘PGIs’), which ensures that geographical indications are attractive for producers maintaining a strong link between the product’s characteristics and its geographical origin
- provides for efficient control and verification procedures for the protection of GIs with a system based on self-declaration as the default procedure that member states reinforce with controls
- ensures that the protection of craft and industrial GIs also applies to the domain name space and the online environment
- facilitates procedures for the registration of GIs, in particular for SMEs, while ensuring a high level of legal protection with the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) playing an important role on the registration procedures for craft and industrial GIs
The provisional agreement reached today with the European Parliament now needs to be endorsed and formally adopted by both institutions.
More information: European Council