The Geneva Act – worth the controversy?

The Geneva Act has now been adopted. However, there are fears that the act could fuel conflict between geographical indications, trademarks and generic use, given the broad definitions and rules on the scope of protection

On May 20 2015 a diplomatic conference at the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) adopted a new international treaty on the protection of appellations of origin and geographical indications in the course of revising the Lisbon Agreement for the Protection of Appellations of Origin and their International Registration: the Geneva Act of the Lisbon Agreement on Appellations of Origin and Geographical Indications. The president of the conference called the act’s adoption a “transcendental moment” for the Lisbon Agreement and WIPO. It remains to be seen to what extent the Lisbon Union’s aspirations will be fulfilled, given the significant controversy surrounding the act’s adoption, and what membership it will ultimately attract.

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