Research Handbook on the Interpretation and Enforcement of Intellectual Property under WTO Rules

Research Handbook on the Interpretation and Enforcement of Intellectual Property under WTO Rules

Intellectual Property in the WTO Volume II

Research Handbooks on the WTO series

Edited by Carlos M. Correa

This concise and detailed Handbook addresses some of the most complex issues raised by the implementation of the TRIPS Agreement globally. Among other themes, the Handbook explores the applicability of GATT jurisprudence for the interpretation of the Agreement’s provisions. It also considers key issues relating to the enforcement of intellectual property rights, such as border measures and injunctive relief. Teamed with the first volume – Research Handbook on the Protection of Intellectual Property under WTO Rules – this analysis is supplemented by a thorough review of the most important cases on TRIPS decided under the WTO dispute settlement mechanism.

Chapter 5: The WTO Dispute on Trademarks and Geographical Indications: Some Implications for Trade Policy-Making and Negotiations

David Vivas-Eugui and María Julia Oliva

Subjects: development studies, development studies, economics and finance, intellectual property, law - academic, intellectual property law, international economic law, trade law


David Vivas-Eugui and María Julia Oliva* 1. Introduction The World Trade Organization (WTO) dispute on European Communities – Protection of Trademarks and Geographical Indications for Agricultural Products and Foodstuff (EC – GIs) has captured the attention of policymakers, negotiators, academia and agricultural and food producers around the world. As a chapter in the long-standing conflict over the use and control of certain geographical names over agricultural and food stuff between European countries and what are termed the ‘new world’ countries (United States, Australia, Argentina, Chile, and South Africa, among others), both the backdrop and implications of the EC – GIs dispute extend far beyond the specific case. As a result, an analysis of the context of the case, the findings of the Panel, and the potential impact of the decision – far from an academic exercise – provide significant lessons for the ongoing implementation and negotiation of geographical indications (GIs) in the framework of the Agreement on Trade-related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS Agreement). In the EC – GIs case, the United States and Australia challenged some aspects of the EU regulation on GIs in force at that time (EC Council Regulation No. 2081/92 of 14 July 1992) as inconsistent with the provisions of the TRIPS Agreement and the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) of 1994. At stake more generally, however, were inherently different perspectives on the objectives and characteristics of distinctive signs, which had already led to a fragile compromise and a built-in agenda for negotiations on GIs in the context...

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