Law and Practice
Elgar Intellectual Property Law and Practice series
Chapter 2: INTERNATIONAL GEOGRAPHICAL INDICATIONS REGIMES
The GIs provisions of the TRIPS Agreement were anticipated as early as the 1883 Paris Convention on Industrial Property, which, as will be seen below imposed merely general obligations in relation to ‘indications of source or appellations of origin’ which were undefined terms. The Madrid Agreement for the Repression of False or Deceptive Indications of Source of Goods 1891, which was enacted as a special treaty under the Paris Convention, contained more specific obligations, but it was not until the Lisbon Agreement on the Protection of Appellations of Origin and their International Registration 1958 that at least appellations of origin were defined and elements of this definition were carried forward into the definition of GIs in the TRIPS Agreement. Prior to the Lisbon Agreement, the 1951 Stresa Convention proposed a system for the protection of appellations of origin and designations for cheeses contained in an annex to the Convention. The Lisbon Agreement, by way of contrast, envisaged protection of appellations of origin by their registration. The TRIPS Agreement did not prescribe a preferred method for the protection of GIs but leaves this to signatories to decide. The possible establishment of a system for the registration of GIs was left to subsequent negotiation and as will be seen below, after more than 15 years of deliberations, the TRIPS signatories have yet to reach agreement on this subject.
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