Limoges porcelain, Basque berets, Marseille soaps, Gien pottery, Tahiti monoi, Liffol headquarters… These French products, such as the famous Italian Murano glass or Boleslawiec’s Polish ceramics, will soon benefit from Europe Protection of their authenticity, origin and quality. On Wednesday 13 April, the Commission proposed a framework for the protection of Geographical Indications (GIs) of artisanal and industrial products to help producers throughout the European Union (EU) and even within its borders outside to better protect their know-how. “Europe has an extraordinary tradition. It’s time for producers in this industry to benefit from intellectual property as well”said Internal Market Commissioner Thierry Breton.
In fact, the Commission was inspired by the pattern and success of GIs that have benefited from food, wine and spirits at the European level. Geographical indications are a guarantee of quality and can enhance the reputation of a product and even the tourism of the origin. Since 2015, the European Parliament has been calling for the extension of this protection to other areas (jewellery, textiles, lace, tableware, glass, china, etc.) and estimates that this will increase from 4.9% to 6.6% (37.6 billion to 50 billion euros) ) ) These products have been exported for over twenty years. In addition, about 330,000 new jobs can be created in the relevant regions.
Currently, intellectual property protection for processes and industrial products is administered at the national level by each member state. Therefore, the rules vary from country to country and the legal safeguards granted vary. Producers wishing to protect GIs across the EU have to apply in each of the 27, which is sometimes too costly for small and medium-sized companies that usually focus on handicrafts.
Therefore, the new regulation aims to create a unified European system within the single market. The Commission proposes a “simplified” registration procedure, during which producers submit GI applications to national authorities, and member states submit them to the European Union Intellectual Property Office, which will have the final say.
To receive the European label, a product must originate from a specific location (one or more regions, or even a country), have a reputation related to its geographic origin, and have undergone at least one stage of production at that location. Benefit from over 800 products, including 100 tri-color products.
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