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ECTA Member’s Voice: New revised regulation on geographical indications for agricultural sector enters into force
By Aitor Pomares, ECTA Geographical Indications Committee Vice-Chair, Berenguer & Pomares abogados, Spain

The new revised regulation on geographical indications for agricultural products, wines, and spirit drinks, which was published in the Official Journal of the European Union on 23 April 2024, has officially entered into force today.

The new Regulation lays down the rules applicable to wine, spirit drinks and agricultural products, consolidating the previously dispersed Regulations into a single legal text. Along with the recently adopted Regulation on GIs for craft and industrial products, the two texts will now govern the EU system of GIs.

The already broad scope of protection afforded to these rights is reinforced by including enforcement against conflicting domain names or online practices. In that regard, GIs can now be invoked as earlier rights in domain name disputes, while Member States shall take measures to block access to infringing domain names.

Furthermore, the new text ensures better protection for GIs when they are used as ingredients in processed products, while also empowering recognised producer groups with increased control over these practices.

In general terms, the role of the producer groups is reinforced by assigning them more responsibilities on the management of their GIs and establishing a clearer a more comprehensive legal framework.

Moreover, emphasis is placed on the significance of sustainability. Recognised producer groups have the opportunity to establish agreed-upon sustainable practices to be adhered to in the production. For those purposes, a concise definition of sustainable practices is provided.

While the European Commission (DG AGRI) remains responsible for the registration of GIs for these types of products, some tasks are entrusted to the EUIPO, such as establishing and managing a domain name information and alert system, as well as maintaining and keeping the GI register up-to-date with respect to registrations, amendments and cancellations of these names.

ECTA Geographical Indications Committee’s comment:

“The new Regulation represents significant progress for the protection of GIs, consolidating the EU sui generis system as the most advanced and comprehensively regulated. The industrial property nature of GIs is at the core of this legislative reform, which aims to address certain gaps in the previous regulations, such as in the area of the management of these collective rights or trying to extend protection to all the fields where infringements may occur.

ECTA and its Geographical Indications Committee have actively participated in the public consultations that have preceded the adoption of this Regulation, as well as the Regulation on GIs for craft and industrial products. Our position papers on the protection of GIs as ingredients and on the legal framework of the scope of protection of GIs anticipated some of the issues that have been addressed in the new Regulation. The ECTA Alicante Round Table of March 2023 was dedicated to the GI reform, while a session on non-agri GIs was held during the ECTA Annual Conference in Prague of June 2023.”


The views expressed are those of our members and not necessarily of ECTA as an association. The content has not been subjected to a verification process, the accuracy of the information contained in the article is responsibility of the author.

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