The Lisbon Agreement on Appellations of Origin and Geographical Indications is an international treaty that seeks to protect the intellectual property rights of businesses and individuals who produce food, wine, and other products with specific geographic origins. The agreement was adopted in 1958 and now has over 30 member states.
The Lisbon Agreement establishes two classifications of products that are eligible for protection: appellations of origin (AOs) and geographical indications (GIs). An AO is a product that originates from a specific region and whose quality and characteristics are exclusively or essentially due to its geographic origin. GIs, on the other hand, are products that are closely linked to a specific region but whose quality and characteristics may also be influenced by other factors, such as the production method.
The main purpose of the Lisbon Agreement is to prevent the unauthorized use of AOs and GIs by third parties. This is achieved by requiring member states to create legal frameworks that protect these products, prohibit misleading statements or practices, and establish enforcement measures against infringers.
The benefits of protecting AOs and GIs are numerous. They ensure fair competition among producers, preserve cultural and traditional knowledge, and promote sustainable and responsible production practices. They also contribute to the quality and reputation of the products, helping to increase their value and marketability.
Under the Lisbon Agreement, businesses and individuals can register their AOs and GIs with the national IP office of their member state. Once registered, the products are granted protection in all other member states. Registration also enables producers to use the protected term on their product label or packaging, helping them to distinguish their products from others on the market.
In conclusion, the Lisbon Agreement on Appellations of Origin and Geographical Indications is a crucial international treaty that protects the intellectual property rights of businesses and individuals who produce food, wine, and other products with specific geographic origins. Its provisions promote fair competition, sustainable production practices, and the preservation of cultural and traditional knowledge. By registering their AOs and GIs, producers can secure protection in all member states and enhance the value and marketability of their products.