GEOGRAPHICAL INDICATIONS LAW: new regulation on the protection of geographical indications for craft and industrial products!
On 12 September 2023, the European Parliament adopted the proposal for a regulation on the protection of geographical indications for craft and industrial products.
This uniform protection throughout the European Union strives to encourage the production of quality products, help to “combat counterfeiting, ensure a wide range of quality products for consumers and contribute to the creation of high-quality, sustainable jobs, including in rural and less-developed regions, thus helping to counter depopulation trends“.
At European level, there have until now been three types of geographical indication for food and agricultural products:
- PDO – Protected Designation of Origin (foodstuffs and wines);
- PGI – Protected Geographical Indication (foodstuffs and wines);
- GI – Geographical Indication (spirits and aromatised wines).
The difference between PDO and PGI lies in the watertightness of what is known as the link of origin. For agricultural products, this is essentially characterised by natural and human factors, although protected geographical indications have a weaker link with the natural factor.
At national level, some countries, such as France , have adopted a sui generis protection system based on geographical indications for non-agricultural products, while most EU Member States still use collective trademarks and/or unfair competition laws. The adoption of the new regulation could represent a major step forward in the harmonisation of intellectual property rights within the European Union.
Until now, the European Commission has been responsible for examining applications for geographical indications for wines and spirits and for food and agricultural products. With the new regulation, the EUIPO will be responsible for artisanal and industrial products. The aim is to simplify and shorten the registration procedure, while allowing the various technical and procedural rules to be merged.
If the Council approves the text in turn, the regulation will enter into force on the twentieth day following that of its publication in the Official Journal of the European Union, and it will probably be possible to apply it two years after that date.
 Point 8 of the position of the European Parliament adopted at first reading on 12 September 2023 with a view to the adoption of Regulation (EU) 2023/… of the European Parliament and of the Council on the protection of geographical indications for craft and industrial products and amending Regulations (EU) 2017/1001 and (EU) 2019/1753
 Law no. 2014-344 of 17 March 2014 on consumer affairs (Loi n° 2014-344 du 17 mars 2014 sur la consommation) known as the “Hamon Law”
 Countries with a sui generis system: Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia.
 Article 73 of Regulation (EU) 2023/… of the European Parliament and of the Council on the protection of geographical indications for craft and industrial products and amending Regulations (EU) 2017/1001 and (EU) 2019/1753