Wipo Lisbon Agreement Geneva Act

The Lisbon Convention for the Protection of Appellations of Origin and their International Registration, signed on 31 October 1958, ensures that appellations of origin are protected in the Member States if they are protected in their country of origin. It establishes rules for what is considered an appellation of origin, safeguards and establishes an international register of appellations of origin maintained by the World Intellectual Property Organization. The agreement entered into force in 1966 and was revised in Stockholm in 1967 and amended in 1979 and 2015. As of May 2015, 30 States were parties to the Convention and 1000 appellations of origin had been registered. [1] Recognised and protected geographical indications for products and services (e.B Swiss Watches, Emmentaler PDO, Swiss Made) are often symbols of quality and reputation. The economic value of these indications for producers and consumers is high. However, the value of Swiss geographical indications depends on the fact that they are protected against imitation and misuse not only in Switzerland, but also in export markets. This protection is made possible by a number of bilateral agreements and some multilateral agreements. The 1958 Lisbon Agreement, administered by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), allowed for the protection of registered appellations of origin. However, the success of this agreement has been modest; only about 30 countries have ratified it. Switzerland has also not joined it.

Negotiations in the WTO on the extension of the level of protection and the creation of a multilateral register of AOs and geographical indications (GIs) under the TRIPS Agreement have not progressed. Countries interested in the protection of the geographical NCI have therefore developed the Lisbon Agreement. With the so-called Geneva Act, which was negotiated in 2015 and on the 26th. Entered into force in February 2020, there is now an international treaty that is not only accessible to AOs, but to all GIs and also offers new perspectives to interested parties in Switzerland. The Federal Council therefore proposes to ratify the Geneva Act and amend the Trademark Act for its implementation. The agreements establish a Special Union under Article 19 of the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property (1883). [2] Some aspects of the Agreement have been replaced by the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights. The Geneva Act creates a high level of international protection. In principle, it corresponds to the protection of AO/GIs registered in Switzerland. Swiss beneficiaries in many countries would benefit from this protection, especially in the EU, which deposited its instrument of accession in November 2019.

Lengthy and costly negotiations on bilateral agreements with the parties to the Geneva Act would no longer be necessary. For Swiss beneficiaries, the new system could also be useful in markets where expected sales are currently still modest, as there are no additional administrative costs or adjustments other than registration fees. The Federal Council assumes that these incentives will outweigh the substitution effects of new foreign AO/GI products on the Swiss market. Consumers would also benefit from the wider range of high-quality products created by this substitution effect. At the same time, the international registration system reduces the risk of deception, as imitation products and stowaways can be processed more easily. Together, the Lisbon Agreement and the Geneva Act of the Lisbon Agreement form the Lisbon System, which provides more comprehensive and effective international protection for quality products based on appellations of origin. .