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Document 52018PC0350

Proposal for a COUNCIL DECISION on the accession of the European Union to the Geneva Act of the Lisbon Agreement on Appellations of Origin and Geographical Indications

COM/2018/350 final

Brussels, 27.7.2018

COM(2018) 350 final

2018/0214(NLE)

Proposal for a

COUNCIL DECISION

on the accession of the European Union to the Geneva Act of the Lisbon Agreement on Appellations of Origin and Geographical Indications


EXPLANATORY MEMORANDUM

1.CONTEXT OF THE PROPOSAL

Reasons for and objectives of the proposal

The Lisbon Agreement of 1958 for the Protection of Appellations of Origin and their International Registration is a treaty administered by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) open to parties to the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property. Its contracting parties are obliged to protect on their territories the appellations of origin of products of the other contracting parties recognized and protected as such in the country of origin and registered at the WIPO International Bureau, unless they declare within one year from the request for registration that they cannot ensure protection.

Seven Member States of the Union are contracting parties to the Lisbon Agreement: Bulgaria (since 1975), Czech Republic (since 1993), Slovakia (since 1993), France (since 1966), Hungary (since 1967), Italy (since 1968) and Portugal (since 1966). Three Member States of the Union have signed but not ratified the Agreement (Greece, Romania and Spain). The Union itself is not a contracting party as the Lisbon Agreement only provides for membership of States.

The Lisbon Agreement was reviewed from 2009 to 2015 with a view to (i) the refinement of its current framework, (ii) the inclusion of provisions specifying that the Lisbon system also applies in respect of geographical indications, and (ii) the inclusion of the possibility of accession by intergovernmental organizations, such as the EU.

On 7 May 2015 the Council adopted a Decision authorising the Commission to participate in the Diplomatic Conference held in Geneva from 11 to 21 May 2015 which adopted the Geneva Act of the Lisbon Agreement on Appellations of Origin and Geographical Indications (hereinafter 'the Geneva Act') on 20 May 2015. Having regard to the ruling of the European Court of Justice of 25 October 2017 in case C-389/15, this Decision was replaced by the Council Decision (EU) 2018/416 of 5 March 2018 authorising the opening of negotiations for a revised Lisbon Agreement on Appellations of Origin and Geographical Indications.

The Geneva Act expands the scope of the Lisbon system beyond appellations of origin to all geographical indications. It is compatible with the WTO TRIPS Agreement and with relevant Union legislation on protection of geographical indications for agricultural products, and allows international organizations (such as the European Union) to become Contracting Parties.

The revised agreement outlines the terms, conditions and processes by which contracting parties may seek protection for registered appellations of origin and geographical indications, while allowing for appropriate safeguards and transitional periods for certain entities.

As regards the procedures for applications and international registration, Contracting Parties may require the declaration of an intention to use if necessary for protection under their domestic law (Article 5 (5) of the Geneva Act and Rule 5(4) of the Common Regulations under the Lisbon Agreement and the Geneva Act of the Lisbon Agreement (the "Common Regulations"). Regarding information about the link between the characteristics of a product and its geographical origin, which is optional under the old Lisbon Agreement, there will be no protection of an appellation of origin or geographical indication in a Contracting Party if this requirement is mandatory there and the application does not comply with it. Applications shall indicate, to the best knowledge of the applicant, whether protection has not been granted for certain elements of the appellation of origin or geographical indication (Rule 5(5)).

Registration fees are increased from 500 CHF to 1000 CHF and future flexibility has been introduced to allow Members to further contribute to the budget as required. A transitional fee of 500 CHF is payable per geographical indication moving from the old to the new system. An individual fee can be required by Contracting Parties in order to cover the cost of substantive examination of the international registration.

Article 9 constitutes the obligation for each Contracting Party to protect registered appellations of origin and geographical indications on its territory, within its own legal system and practice but in accordance with the terms of this Act, subject to any refusal, renunciation, invalidation or cancellation that may become effective with respect to its territory.

Article 11 lays down the content of protection. Article 11(1) (a) requires each Contracting Party to provide the legal means to prevent use of the appellation of origin or geographical indication in respect of goods of the same kind but different origin and in respect of goods not of the same kind or services if such use would indicate or suggest a connection between those goods or services and the beneficiaries, and would be likely to damage their interests, or to impair or dilute or take unfair advantage of, the reputation of the AO/GI. Moreover, Article 11 (1) (b) covers any other practice liable to mislead consumers as to the true origin, provenance or nature of the goods. Article 11(2) essentially extends the application of Article 11 (1) (a) to the cases provided for in Article 23.1 of the TRIPS Agreement ("even if the true origin of the goods is indicated, or if the appellation of origin or the geographical indication is used in translated form or is accompanied by terms such as “style”, “kind”, “type”, “make”, “imitation”, “method”, “as produced in”, “like”, “similar” or the like") without however limiting its scope to wines and spirits.

Article 12 effectively ensures that protected designations may not subsequently become generic.

Article 13(1) explicitly provides for coexistence of appellations of origin or geographical indications with prior trade mark rights, in accordance with the findings of the WTO panel in the dispute between the EU and the US/Australia (DS174/DS290) that coexistence is based on Article 17 TRIPs. Article 13 allows Contracting Parties to provide limited exceptions to the rights conferred by a trademark to the effect that such a prior trademark in certain circumstances may not entitle its owner to prevent a registered AO or GI from being granted protection or used in that Contracting Party.

The notification of a refusal of the effects of an international registration shall set out the grounds on which the refusal is based (Article 15). Withdrawal of a refusal is possible in accordance with the procedures specified in the Common Regulations (Rule 11). Although there is no explicit reference in the Geneva Act to negotiations aimed at achieving the withdrawal of a refusal to protect an appellation of origin or geographical indication, negotiations may anyway be conducted even in the absence of an explicit reference.

Article 17 (Transitional period) provides for the option of a phasing out period for prior uses.

Regarding the grounds for invalidation of a registered appellation of origin or geographical indication, the relevant Article 19 does not refer to invalidity grounds and hence allows any Contracting Party to invoke its domestic rules, in line with EU legislation, which does not have an enumerative list of invalidation grounds, either.

The Geneva Act will enter into force three months after five parties have ratified it (Article 29(2).

The Union has exclusive competence for the Geneva Act of the Lisbon Agreement. This follows from the ruling of the European Court of Justice of 25 October 2017 in Case C-389/15 - Commission v Council - which clarified that the draft revised Lisbon Agreement, i.e. the Geneva Act, is essentially intended to facilitate and govern trade between the European Union and third States and, secondly, that it is such as to have direct and immediate effects on such trade, so that its negotiation fell within the exclusive competence which Article 3(1) TFEU confers on the European Union in the field of the common commercial policy envisaged in Article 207(1) TFEU.

Regarding agricultural products, the Union has established uniform and exhaustive protection systems for geographical indications for wines (1970), spirits (1989), aromatized wines (1991) and other agricultural products and foodstuffs (1992). Given the exclusive nature of Union legislation on protection of geographical indications for agricultural products, the Member States are not supposed to have protection systems of their own nor themselves to protect agricultural geographical indications of third country members of the Lisbon system. However, as long as the Union is not a contracting party of the Geneva Act, it cannot submit agricultural geographical indications registered at Union level for protection under the Lisbon system, nor protect third country members' geographical indications on the basis of that system.

In order for the Union to properly exercise its exclusive competence for the Geneva Act of the Lisbon Agreement and its functions in the context of its exhaustive protection systems for agricultural geographical indications, the EU should become a contracting party.

For the European Union to become party to the Geneva Act, at least one of its Member States must be party to the Paris Convention, and the Union must declare that it has been duly authorized, in accordance with its internal procedures, to become party to this Act and that, under its constituting treaty, legislation applies under which regional titles of protection can be obtained in respect of geographical indications. All Member States are parties to the Paris Convention. As regards legislation under which regional titles of protection can be obtained in respect of geographical indications, the Union has established, in accordance with its constituting treaties, uniform and exhaustive protection systems for geographical indications for wines (1970), spirits (1989), aromatized wines (1991) and other agricultural products and foodstuffs (1992).

With this proposal for a Council Decision, the Commission seeks the Council's authorisation for accession of the European Union to the Geneva Act.

Consistency with existing policy provisions in the policy area

Regarding agricultural products, the EU has established uniform and exhaustive GI protection systems for wines (1970), spirits (1989), aromatized wines (1991) and other agricultural products and foodstuffs (1992). Through these systems, protected names for the products covered enjoy farreaching protection throughout the EU, based on a single application process. The key provisions are currently laid down for wine in Regulation (EU) No. 1308/2013 of 17 December 2013, for aromatized wines in Regulation (EU) No. 251/2014 of 26 February 2014, for spirits in Regulation (EC) No. 110/2008 of 15 January 2008, and for agricultural products and foodstuffs in Regulation (EU) No. 1151/2012 of 21 November 2012.

Consistency with other Union policies

The Union's accession to the Geneva Act of the Lisbon Agreement is consistent with the EU's general policy to promote and enhance the protection of geographical indications through bilateral, regional and multilateral agreements.

2.LEGAL BASIS, SUBSIDIARITY AND PROPORTIONALITY

Legal basis

Considering the subject matter of the Treaty, the decision of the Council should be based on Articles 207 and 218(6) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union.

Subsidiarity (for non-exclusive competence)

According to Article 5(3) of the Treaty of the European Union (TEU), the subsidiarity principle does not apply to areas of exclusive EU competence.

Proportionality

Without accession the Union and its Member States would remain unable to benefit from the Geneva Act of the Lisbon Agreement. Given the exclusive nature of the Union's commercial policy, including commercial aspects of intellectual property, EU Member States are not supposed to have GI protection systems of their own nor themselves to protect agricultural GIs of third country members of the Lisbon system. The Union itself, as long as it is not a Contracting Party, cannot submit agricultural GIs registered at EU level for protection under the Lisbon system, nor protect third country members' GIs on the basis of that system. In order for the EU to properly exercise its exclusive competence for agricultural GIs in the Lisbon system, the EU should become a member.

Choice of the instrument

A Council Decision on the conclusion of the Union's accession to the Geneva Act is the appropriate legal instrument, having regard to Article 28 (Becoming Party to This Act) of the Geneva Act of the Lisbon Agreement.

3.RESULTS OF EX-POST EVALUATIONS, STAKEHOLDER CONSULTATIONS AND IMPACT ASSESSMENTS

Ex-post evaluations/fitness checks of existing legislation

Not applicable.

Stakeholder consultations

The Roadmap on EU accession to the Geneva Act of the Lisbon Agreement on Appellations of Origin and Geographical Indications was published on 21 December 2017 with a deadline for stakeholder comments until 18 January 2018. 8 comments were received within the deadline. All except one were basically positive regarding the initiative and supported EU accession. Three comments expressed the view that the EU should advance the discussion on recognition and protection of non-agricultural geographical indications. Two comments were against a shortlist as all of the Union's geographical indications should be eligible for protection under the Geneva Act.

Collection and use of expertise

The study of October 2012 done by AND International on the "Value of production of agricultural products and foodstuffs, wines, aromatised wines and spirits protected by a geographical indication (GI)" (http://ec.europa.eu/agriculture/external-studies/value-gi_en)

identified a number of benefits of the EU's GI policy for consumers (quality assurance), producers (openness of the system to all producers complying with quality requirements; fair competition; price premium; efficient protection), society at large (link of valuable products to rural areas; preserving tradition; reconnection of producers and consumers) and the environment (Linking traditional products with landscapes and farming systems). Evaluating economic data on each of 2768 GIs registered in the EU 27 from 2005 to 2010, the study found in particular that on average, the price of a GI product is 2.23 times the price of a comparable non-GI product. The sales value of EU GIs (all sectors) was €54.3 billion in 2010 (5.7% of the total EU food and drink sector); the estimated EU GI exports value is € 11.5 billion (15% of EU food and drink industry exports). .

Impact assessment

The Better Regulation requirements for the initiative do not include an impact assessment, an implementation plan or a public consultation. The Roadmap on EU accession to the Geneva Act of the Lisbon Agreement on Appellations of Origin and Geographical Indications was published on 21 December 2017 with a deadline for stakeholder comments until 18 January 2018. 8 comments were received.

The Guidelines on Better Regulation clarify that an impact assessment should be carried out only when it is useful, to be assessed on a case-by-case basis. In principle, no impact assessment is needed, when there is little or no choice available for the Commission. This is the case here as accession to the Geneva Act of the Lisbon Agreement is warranted in view of the Union's exclusive competence for the matters covered by the Geneva Act, and as this step would also be the logical conclusion following the review process of the Lisbon system in which the EU has engaged.

There would be a number of advantages in case of EU membership. It would ensure that current and future GIs registered at EU level but not registered by the 7 EU Member States in the Lisbon Union could become eligible for protection in the Lisbon system. EU GIs could in principle gain rapid, high level, indefinite protection in all current and future parties to the Geneva Act. The established multilateral register would increase the reputation of European GIs due to the wide geographic extent of protection under the Geneva Act. Improved international GI protection resulting from EU accession is expected to consolidate and potentially expand the positive impacts of GI protection on inclusive growth and employment in high added value production in the agricultural sector, on trade and investment flows, competitiveness of business and SMEs in particular, as well as for the functioning of the internal market and competition, and for the protection of IPR. Farmers' and food producers' intellectual property in their GI-protected products is vulnerable to exploitation and loss, especially in global markets. EU accession to the Lisbon system would help rural stakeholders protect at global level what is valuable at local level, thus countervailing the usual globalisation trend toward uniform commodity standards and downward pressure on agricultural product prices. In the current political and economic uncertainties, this would provide a visible demonstration to the rural community that the EU is acting to defend and protect their interests across the world. As the Geneva Act is broadly equivalent to EU legislation on GI protection for agricultural products, it is not expected that EU accession will require significant adjustments of the substance of this legislation.

From an administrative point of view, the Geneva Act provides a single set of rules for obtaining protection in all members and therefore a simpler and more efficient mechanism compared to the current EU practice of dealing with a variety of local procedures through bilateral agreements. In commercial policy terms, it will demonstrate the EU's responsible leadership role promoting multilateralism. EU accession is not expected to create additional costs or burdens on EU operators or EU Member States wanting to have GIs protected in the Lisbon system as compared to the status quo. On the contrary, it is expected to even result in a reduced level of these administrative costs and burdens.

For businesses, EU accession will entail no additional adjustment, compliance or transaction costs or administrative burdens other than potential individual examination fees which Lisbon Members may apply but which will be diminished by the savings resulting from the international procedure.

The Geneva Act allows for accession of the EU together with its Member States. However, in view of the uniform and exhaustive nature of the EU GI protection system for agricultural products, any AOs or GIs submitted for protection by the seven EU Member States in the Lisbon system (currently around 800) and eligible for protection under EU legislation should no longer be protected under national legislation, but exclusively through EU legislation. This will also be the case regarding protection of GIs originating in, and submitted for protection by, third country Lisbon members. As a consequence, EU accession will result in less administrative burden of participation in the Lisbon system for EU Member States.

Notably, once the EU has joined, there will be the option of referring to the Lisbon system register rather than negotiating in detail the bilateral protection of GIs. This would be in line with practice in other areas of Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) where the EU engages its partners to join and comply with international agreements on IPR such as the Berne Convention on Copyright and the Madrid protocol on Trade Marks, rather than creating a web of divergent undertakings that can confuse stakeholders.

Accession of the EU will likely give an incentive for more third countries to join the Lisbon system, since this would give them access to protection across the whole Lisbon Union, and they could benefit from an efficient examination procedure for individual GIs in case of equivalence of their system to that of the EU.

EU accession may in particular have positive effects for developing countries which consider joining the Geneva Act as their GIs could gain protection in the EU through the Lisbon system. The interest of the 17-member African IP office, OAPI, to join Lisbon is propitious and evidence of the attraction of the GI instrument to protect developing country farmers' rights and traditional value.

As regards potential disadvantages, these could be seen in the as yet limited membership of the Lisbon system, the concern that progress on GIs in the WTO might be put even further out of reach; scepticism of some EU Member States towards EU accession, and uncertainty in respect of financial impacts. However, the modernized system under the Geneva Act should be more attractive for potential new members; progress in WIPO might even have a positive repercussion on GI discussions in the WTO by creating appropriate synergies and bringing the revised Lisbon Agreement closer to the WTO process; EU member States with reservations about the Lisbon system will not be required to join; and Lisbon members have made progress in their efforts towards ensuring financial sustainability of the Lisbon system.

On balance, the advantages of EU accession to the Geneva Act of the Lisbon Agreement outweigh the disadvantages. In order to achieve EU accession to the Lisbon System, the Commission will have to prepare a proposal for the legal acts needed for accession of the EU to the Geneva Act of the Lisbon Agreement and its implementation.

Regulatory fitness and simplification

Not applicable.

Fundamental rights

The Union's accession to the Geneva Act of the Lisbon Agreement will contribute to the fulfilment of Article 17 (2) of the Charter of Fundamental Right of the European Union, which provides that intellectual property shall be protected.

4.BUDGETARY IMPLICATIONS

See Financial Statement annexed.

5.OTHER ELEMENTS

Implementation plans and monitoring, evaluation and reporting arrangements

Not applicable.

Explanatory documents (for directives)

Not applicable.

Detailed explanation of the specific provisions of the proposal

Not applicable

2018/0214 (NLE)

Proposal for a

COUNCIL DECISION

on the accession of the European Union to the Geneva Act of the Lisbon Agreement on Appellations of Origin and Geographical Indications

THE COUNCIL OF THE EUROPEAN UNION,

Having regard to the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, and in particular Article 207 in conjunction with Article 218(6)(a) thereof,

Having regard to the proposal from the European Commission,

Having regard to the consent of the European Parliament,

Whereas:

(1)The Lisbon Agreement for the Protection of Appellations of Origin and their International Registration of 31 October 1958 1 ('the Lisbon Agreement') created a special union ('the Special Union') within the framework of the Union for the Protection of Industrial Property which was established by the Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property signed in Paris on 20 March 1883 ('the Paris Convention'). Under the terms of the Lisbon Agreement, the contracting parties undertake to protect on their territories the appellations of origin of products of the other countries within the Special Union which are recognised and protected as such in the country of origin and which are registered at the International Bureau of Intellectual Property of the World Intellectual Property Organization, unless those parties declare, within one year from the request for registration, that they cannot ensure such protection.

(2)Seven Member States are parties to the Lisbon Agreement namely Bulgaria (since 1975), the Czech Republic (since 1993), France (since 1966), Italy (since 1968), Hungary (since 1967), Portugal (since 1966) and Slovakia (since 1993). Three other Member States have signed but not ratified the Lisbon Agreement namely, Greece, Spain and Romania. The Union itself is not a party to the Lisbon Agreement as the agreement provides that only States can accede to it.

(3)On 20 May 2015 the Geneva Act of the Lisbon Agreement on Appellations of Origin and Geographical Indications 2 ('the Geneva Act') was adopted which revised the Lisbon Agreement. In particular, the Geneva Act expands the scope of the Special Union in order to extend the protection of appellations of origin of products to all geographical indications within the meaning of the WTO Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights. The Geneva Act is compatible with this Agreement and with relevant Union legislation on the protection of designations of origin and geographical indications for agricultural products, and allows international organisations to become contracting parties.

(4)The Union has exclusive competence for the areas covered by the Geneva Act. This was confirmed in the ruling of the European Court of Justice of 25 October 2017 in case C-389/15 3 which clarified that the draft revised Lisbon Agreement, which has been subsequently adopted as the Geneva Act, is essentially intended to facilitate and govern trade between the Union and third countries and has direct and immediate effects on such trade. Therefore the negotiation of the Geneva Act fell within the exclusive competence of the Union conferred by Article 3(1) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union as it was within the field of the common commercial policy referred to in Article 207(1) of that Treaty, in particular with regard to the commercial aspects of intellectual property. 

(5)Regarding certain agricultural products, the Union has established uniform and comprehensive protection systems for geographical indications for wines (1970), spirits (1989), aromatized wines (1991) and other agricultural products and foodstuffs (1992). Based on the exclusive competence under Article 3 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, Member States should not have national protection systems to protect agricultural designations of origin and geographical indications of third country members of the Special Union. However, where the Union is not a contracting party to the Geneva Act, it cannot submit agricultural designations of origin and geographical indications registered at Union level for protection within the Special Union, nor protect third country members' designations of origin and geographical indications by means of the protection systems established by the Union.

(6)In order for the Union to be able to properly exercise its exclusive competence for the areas covered by the Geneva Act and its functions in the context of its comprehensive protection systems for agricultural designations of origin and geographical indications, the Union should become a contracting party to the Geneva Act.

(7)The Union's accession to the Geneva Act is in accordance with Article 17(2) of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, which provides that intellectual property shall be protected.

(8)The European Union should therefore accede to the Geneva Act.

(9)In the Special Union, the Union should be represented by the Commission in accordance with Article 17(1) of the Treaty on European Union,

HAS ADOPTED THIS DECISION:

Article 1

The accession of the European Union to the Geneva Act of the Lisbon Agreement on Appellations of Origin and Geographical Indications (‘the Geneva Act’) is hereby approved on behalf of the Union.

The text of the Geneva Act is attached to this Decision.

Article 2

The President of the Council shall designate the person empowered to proceed, on behalf of the European Union, to the deposit of the instrument of accession provided for in Article 28(2)(ii) of the Geneva Act, in order to express the consent of the European Union to be bound by the Geneva Act.

Article 3

In the Special Union, the Union shall be represented by the Commission in accordance with Article 17(1) of the Treaty on European Union. The Commission shall make all the necessary notifications under the Geneva Act on behalf of the Union.

In particular, the Commission shall be the Competent Authority referred to in Article 3 of the Geneva Act, responsible for the administration of the Geneva Act in the territory of the Union and for communications with the International Bureau of Intellectual Property of the World Intellectual Property Organization under the Geneva Act and the Common Regulations under the Lisbon Agreement and the Geneva Act of the Lisbon Agreement (the "Common Regulations") 4 .

Article 4

In accordance with Article 29(4) of the Geneva Act, a declaration attached to the instrument of accession shall specify an extension by one year of the time limit referred to in Article 15(1) of the Geneva Act, and the periods referred to in Article 17 of that Act, in accordance with the procedures specified in the Common Regulations.

In accordance with Rule 5(3)(a) of the Common Regulations, a notification to the Director General of the World Intellectual Property Organization attached to the instrument of accession shall specify the requirement that, for the protection of a registered appellation of origin or geographical indication in the territory of the Union, the application shall, in addition to the mandatory contents set out in Rule 5(2) of the Common Regulations, indicate particulars concerning, in the case of an appellation of origin, the quality or characteristics of the good and its connection with the geographical environment of the geographical area of production, and, in the case of a geographical indication, the quality, reputation or other characteristic of the good and its connection with the geographical area of origin.

Article 5

This Decision shall enter into force on […].

Done at Brussels,

   For the Council

   The President

LEGISLATIVE FINANCIAL STATEMENT

FINANCIAL STATEMENT

FS/18/YG/mh XXX

agri.ddg2..XXX

6.221.2018.1

DATE: 05.03.2018

1.

BUDGET HEADING:

05 06 01

APPROPRIATIONS:

EUR 7.228 million

2.

TITLE:
Proposal for a Council Decision on the accession of the European Union to the Geneva Act of the Lisbon Agreement on Appellations of Origin and Geographical Indications

3.

LEGAL BASIS:

Articles 207 and 218(6) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union

4.

AIMS:

With this proposal for a Council Decision, the Commission seeks authorization from the Council to authorize the accession of the European Union to the Geneva Act

5.

FINANCIAL IMPLICATIONS

12 MONTH PERIOD


(EUR million)

CURRENT FINANCIAL YEAR

2018

(EUR million)

FOLLOWING FINANCIAL YEAR

2019

(EUR million)

5.0

EXPENDITURE

-    CHARGED TO THE EU BUDGET
(REFUNDS/INTERVENTIONS)

-    NATIONAL AUTHORITIES

-    OTHER

-

1.0

1.0

-

-

1.0 (estimate)

5.1

REVENUE

-    OWN RESOURCES OF THE EU
(LEVIES/CUSTOMS DUTIES)

-    NATIONAL

2020

2021

2022

2023

5.0.1

ESTIMATED EXPENDITURE

5.1.1

ESTIMATED REVENUE

5.2

METHOD OF CALCULATION: not determined at this stage

6.0

CAN THE PROJECT BE FINANCED FROM APPROPRIATIONS ENTERED IN THE RELEVANT CHAPTER OF THE CURRENT BUDGET?

YES NO

6.1

CAN THE PROJECT BE FINANCED BY TRANSFER BETWEEN CHAPTERS OF THE CURRENT BUDGET?

YES NO

6.2

WILL A SUPPLEMENTARY BUDGET BE NECESSARY?

YES NO

6.3

WILL APPROPRIATIONS NEED TO BE ENTERED IN FUTURE BUDGETS?

YES NO

OBSERVATIONS:

The fees shall be borne by the Member State in which the appellation of origin or the geographical indication is originating. However, the Union may make a special contribution pursuant to Article 24(2)(v)of the Geneva Act within the means available for this purpose in the annual budget of the Union. In 2018, an amount of EUR 1 million is allocated to budget line 05 06 01 to this purpose.

(1)     http://www.wipo.int/export/sites/www/lisbon/en/legal_texts/lisbon_agreement.pdf .
(2)     http://www.wipo.int/edocs/lexdocs/treaties/en/lisbon/trt_lisbon_009en.pdf .
(3)    Judgment of the Court of Justice of 25 October 2017, Commission v Council, C-389/15, ECLI:EU:C:2017:798 [paragraphs 45 ff].
(4)    Common Regulations under the Lisbon Agreement and the Geneva Act of the Lisbon Agreement as adopted by the Assembly of the Lisbon Union on 11 October 2017, http://www.wipo.int/meetings/en/doc_details.jsp?doc_id=376416 , Doc. WIPO A/57/11 of 11 October 2017.
Top

Brussels, 27.7.2018

COM(2018) 350 final

ANNEX

to the

Proposal for a

COUNCIL DECISION

on the accession of the European Union to the Geneva Act of the Lisbon Agreement on Appellations of Origin and Geographical Indications


GENEVA ACT OF THE LISBON AGREEMENT ON APPELLATIONS OF ORIGIN AND GEOGRAPHICAL INDICATIONS

List of Articles

Chapter I: Introductory and General Provisions

Article 1:    Abbreviated Expressions

Article 2:    Subject-Matter

Article 3:    Competent Authority

Article 4:    International Register

Chapter II: Application and International Registration

Article 5:    Application

Article 6:    International Registration

Article 7:    Fees

Article 8:    Period of Validity of International Registrations

Chapter III: Protection

Article 9:    Commitment to Protect

Article 10:    Protection Under Laws of Contracting Parties and Other Instruments

Article 11:    Protection in Respect of Registered Appellations of Origin and Geographical Indications

Article 12:    Protection Against Becoming Generic

Article 13:    Safeguards in Respect of Other Rights

Article 14:    Enforcement Procedures and Remedies

Chapter IV: Refusal and Other Actions in Respect of International Registration

Article 15:    Refusal

Article 16:    Withdrawal of Refusal

Article 17:    Transitional Period

Article 18:    Notification of Grant of Protection

Article 19:    Invalidation

Article 20:    Modifications and Other Entries in the International Register

Chapter V: Administrative Provisions

Article 21:    Membership of the Lisbon Union

Article 22:    Assembly of the Special Union

Article 23:    International Bureau

Article 24:    Finances

Article 25:    Regulations

Chapter VI: Revision and Amendment

Article 26:    Revision

Article 27:    Amendment of Certain Articles by the Assembly

Chapter VII: Final Provisions

Article 28:    Becoming Party to This Act

Article 29:    Effective Date of Ratifications and Accessions

Article 30:    Prohibition of Reservations

Article 31:    Application of the Lisbon Agreement and the 1967 Act

Article 32:    Denunciation

Article 33:    Languages of This Act; Signature

Article 34:    Depositary page



Chapter I
Introductory and General Provisions

Article 1

Abbreviated Expressions

For the purposes of this Act, unless expressly stated otherwise:

(I.)“Lisbon Agreement” means the Lisbon Agreement for the Protection of Appellations of Origin and their International Registration of October 31, 1958;

(II.)“1967 Act” means the Lisbon Agreement as revised at Stockholm on July 14, 1967, and amended on September 28, 1979;

(III.)“this Act” means the Lisbon Agreement on Appellations of Origin and Geographical Indications, as established by the present Act;

(IV.)“Regulations” means the Regulations as referred to in Article 25;

(V.)“Paris Convention” means the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property of March 20, 1883, as revised and amended;

(VI.)“appellation of origin” means a denomination as referred to in Article 2(1)(i);

(VII.)“geographical indication” means an indication as referred to in Article 2(1)(ii);

(VIII.)“International Register” means the International Register maintained by the International Bureau in accordance with Article 4 as the official collection of data concerning international registrations of appellations of origin and geographical indications, regardless of the medium in which such data are maintained;

(IX.)“international registration” means an international registration recorded in the International Register;

(X.)“application” means an application for international registration;

(XI.)“registered” means entered in the International Register in accordance with this Act;

(XII.)“geographical area of origin” means a geographical area as referred to in Article 2(2);

(XIII.)“trans-border geographical area” means a geographical area situated in, or covering, adjacent Contracting Parties;

(XIV.)“Contracting Party” means any State or intergovernmental organization party to this Act;

(XV.)“Contracting Party of Origin” means the Contracting Party where the geographical area of origin is situated or the Contracting Parties where the trans-border geographical area of origin is situated;

(XVI.)“Competent Authority” means an entity designated in accordance with Article 3;

(XVII.)“beneficiaries” means the natural persons or legal entities entitled under the law of the Contracting Party of Origin to use an appellation of origin or a geographical indication;

(XVIII.)“intergovernmental organization” means an intergovernmental organization eligible to become party to this Act in accordance with Article 28(1)(iii);

(XIX.)“Organization” means the World Intellectual Property Organization;

(XX.)“Director General” means the Director General of the Organization;

(XXI.)“International Bureau” means the International Bureau of the Organization.

Article 2

Subject-Matter

(1)[Appellations of Origin and Geographical Indications] This Act applies in respect of:

(I.)any denomination protected in the Contracting Party of Origin consisting of or containing the name of a geographical area, or another denomination known as referring to such area, which serves to designate a good as originating in that geographical area, where the quality or characteristics of the good are due exclusively or essentially to the geographical environment, including natural and human factors, and which has given the good its reputation; as well as

(II.)any indication protected in the Contracting Party of Origin consisting of or containing the name of a geographical area, or another indication known as referring to such area, which identifies a good as originating in that geographical area, where a given quality, reputation or other characteristic of the good is essentially attributable to its geographical origin.

(2)[Possible Geographical Areas of Origin] A geographical area of origin as described in paragraph (1) may consist of the entire territory of the Contracting Party of Origin or a region, locality or place in the Contracting Party of Origin. This does not exclude the application of this Act in respect of a geographical area of origin, as described in paragraph (1), consisting of a trans-border geographical area, or a part thereof.

Article 3

Competent Authority

Each Contracting Party shall designate an entity which shall be responsible for the administration of this Act in its territory and for communications with the International Bureau under this Act and the Regulations. The Contracting Party shall notify the name and contact details of such Competent Authority to the International Bureau, as specified in the Regulations.

Article 4

International Register

The International Bureau shall maintain an International Register recording international registrations effected under this Act, under the Lisbon Agreement and the 1967 Act, or under both, and data relating to such international registrations.

Chapter II
Application and International Registration

Article 5
Application

(1)[Place of Filing] Applications shall be filed with the International Bureau.

(2)[Application Filed by Competent Authority] Subject to paragraph (3), the application for the international registration of an appellation of origin or a geographical indication shall be filed by the Competent Authority in the name of:

(I.)the beneficiaries; or

(II.)a natural person or legal entity having legal standing under the law of the Contracting Party of Origin to assert the rights of the beneficiaries or other rights in the appellation of origin or geographical indication.

(3)[Application Filed Directly]

a)Without prejudice to paragraph (4), if the legislation of the Contracting Party of Origin so permits, the application may be filed by the beneficiaries or by a natural person or legal entity referred to in paragraph (2)(ii).

b)Subparagraph (a) applies subject to a declaration from the Contracting Party that its legislation so permits. Such declaration may be made by the Contracting Party at the time of deposit of its instrument of ratification or accession or at any later time. Where the declaration is made at the time of the deposit of its instrument of ratification or accession, it shall take effect upon the entry into force of this Act with respect to that Contracting Party. Where the declaration is made after the entry into force of this Act with respect to the Contracting Party, it shall take effect three months after the date on which the Director General has received the declaration.

(4)[Possible Joint Application in the Case of a Trans-border Geographical Area] In case of a geographical area of origin consisting of a trans-border geographical area, the adjacent Contracting Parties may, in accordance with their agreement, file an application jointly through a commonly designated Competent Authority.

(5)[Mandatory Contents] The Regulations shall specify the mandatory particulars that must be included in the application, in addition to those specified in Article 6(3).

(6)[Optional Contents] The Regulations may specify the optional particulars that may be included in the application.

Article 6
International Registration

(1)[Formal Examination by the International Bureau] Upon receipt of an application for the international registration of an appellation of origin or a geographical indication in due form, as specified in the Regulations, the International Bureau shall register the appellation of origin, or the geographical indication, in the International Register.

(2)[Date of International Registration] Subject to paragraph (3), the date of the international registration shall be the date on which the application was received by the International Bureau.

(3)[Date of International Registration Where Particulars Missing] Where the application does not contain all the following particulars:

(I.)the identification of the Competent Authority or, in the case of Article 5(3), the applicant or applicants;

(II.)the details identifying the beneficiaries and, where applicable, the natural person or legal entity referred to in Article 5(2)(ii);

(III.)the appellation of origin, or the geographical indication, for which international registration is sought;

(IV.)the good or goods to which the appellation of origin, or the geographical indication, applies;

the date of the international registration shall be the date on which the last of the missing particulars is received by the International Bureau.

(4)[Publication and Notification of International Registrations] The International Bureau shall, without delay, publish each international registration and notify the Competent Authority of each Contracting Party of the international registration.

(5)[Date of Effect of International Registration]

a)Subject to subparagraph (b), a registered appellation of origin or geographical indication shall, in each Contracting Party that has not refused protection in accordance with Article 15, or that has sent to the International Bureau a notification of grant of protection in accordance with Article 18, be protected from the date of the international registration.

b)A Contracting Party may, in a declaration, notify the Director General that, in accordance with its national or regional legislation, a registered appellation of origin or geographical indication is protected from a date that is mentioned in the declaration, which date shall however not be later than the date of expiry of the time limit for refusal specified in the Regulations in accordance with Article 15(1)(a).

Article 7

Fees

(1)[International Registration Fee] International registration of each appellation of origin, and each geographical indication, shall be subject to payment of the fee specified in the Regulations.

(2)[Fees for Other Entries in the International Register] The Regulations shall specify the fees to be paid in respect of other entries in the International Register and for the supply of extracts, attestations, or other information concerning the contents of the international registration.

(3)[Fee Reductions] Reduced fees shall be established by the Assembly in respect of certain international registrations of appellations of origin, and in respect of certain international registrations of geographical indications, in particular those in respect of which the Contracting Party of Origin is a developing country or a least-developed country.

(4)[Individual Fee]

a)Any Contracting Party may, in a declaration, notify the Director General that the protection resulting from international registration shall extend to it only if a fee is paid to cover its cost of substantive examination of the international registration. The amount of such individual fee shall be indicated in the declaration and can be changed in further declarations. The said amount may not be higher than the equivalent of the amount required under the national or regional legislation of the Contracting Party diminished by the savings resulting from the international procedure. Additionally, the Contracting Party may, in a declaration, notify the Director General that it requires an administrative fee relating to the use by the beneficiaries of the appellation of origin or the geographical indication in that Contracting Party.

b)Non-payment of an individual fee shall, in accordance with the Regulations, have the effect that protection is renounced in respect of the Contracting Party requiring the fee.

Article 8
Period of Validity of International Registrations

(1)[Dependency] International registrations shall be valid indefinitely, on the understanding that the protection of a registered appellation of origin or geographical indication shall no longer be required if the denomination constituting the appellation of origin, or the indication constituting the geographical indication, is no longer protected in the Contracting Party of Origin.

(2)[Cancellation]

a)The Competent Authority of the Contracting Party of Origin, or, in the case of Article 5(3), the beneficiaries or the natural person or legal entity referred to in Article 5(2)(ii) or the Competent Authority of the Contracting Party of Origin, may at any time request the International Bureau to cancel the international registration concerned.

b)In case the denomination constituting a registered appellation of origin, or the indication constituting a registered geographical indication, is no longer protected in the Contracting Party of Origin, the Competent Authority of the Contracting Party of Origin shall request cancellation of the international registration.

Chapter III

Protection

Article 9
Commitment to Protect

Each Contracting Party shall protect registered appellations of origin and geographical indications on its territory, within its own legal system and practice but in accordance with the terms of this Act, subject to any refusal, renunciation, invalidation or cancellation that may become effective with respect to its territory, and on the understanding that Contracting Parties that do not distinguish in their national or regional legislation as between appellations of origin and geographical indications shall not be required to introduce such a distinction into their national or regional legislation.

Article 10
Protection Under Laws of Contracting Parties or Other Instruments

(1)[Form of Legal Protection] Each Contracting Party shall be free to choose the type of legislation under which it establishes the protection stipulated in this Act, provided that such legislation meets the substantive requirements of this Act.

(2)[Protection Under Other Instruments] The provisions of this Act shall not in any way affect any other protection a Contracting Party may accord in respect of registered appellations of origin or registered geographical indications under its national or regional legislation, or under other international instruments.

(3)[Relation to Other Instruments] Nothing in this Act shall derogate from any obligations that Contracting Parties have to each other under any other international instruments, nor shall it prejudice any rights that a Contracting Party has under any other international instruments.

Article 11
Protection in Respect of Registered Appellations of Origin and Geographical Indications

(1)[Content of Protection] Subject to the provisions of this Act, in respect of a registered appellation of origin or a registered geographical indication, each Contracting Party shall provide the legal means to prevent:

a)use of the appellation of origin or the geographical indication

(I.)in respect of goods of the same kind as those to which the appellation of origin or the geographical indication applies, not originating in the geographical area of origin or not complying with any other applicable requirements for using the appellation of origin or the geographical indication;

(II.)in respect of goods that are not of the same kind as those to which the appellation of origin or geographical indication applies or services, if such use would indicate or suggest a connection between those goods or services and the beneficiaries of the appellation of origin or the geographical indication, and would be likely to damage their interests, or, where applicable, because of the reputation of the appellation of origin or geographical indication in the Contracting Party concerned, such use would be likely to impair or dilute in an unfair manner, or take unfair advantage of, that reputation;

b)any other practice liable to mislead consumers as to the true origin, provenance or nature of the goods.

(2)[Content of Protection in Respect of Certain Uses] Paragraph (1)(a) shall also apply to use of the appellation of origin or geographical indication amounting to its imitation, even if the true origin of the goods is indicated, or if the appellation of origin or the geographical indication is used in translated form or is accompanied by terms such as “style”, “kind”, “type”, “make”, “imitation”, “method”, “as produced in”, “like”, “similar” or the like 1 .

(3)[Use in a Trademark] Without prejudice to Article 13(1), a Contracting Party shall, ex officio if its legislation so permits or at the request of an interested party, refuse or invalidate the registration of a later trademark if use of the trademark would result in one of the situations covered by paragraph (1).

Article 12
Protection Against Becoming Generic

Subject to the provisions of this Act, registered appellations of origin and registered geographical indications cannot be considered to have become generic 2 in a Contracting Party.

Article 13
Safeguards in Respect of Other Rights

(1)[Prior Trademark Rights] The provisions of this Act shall not prejudice a prior trademark applied for or registered in good faith, or acquired through use in good faith, in a Contracting Party. Where the law of a Contracting Party provides a limited exception to the rights conferred by a trademark to the effect that such a prior trademark in certain circumstances may not entitle its owner to prevent a registered appellation of origin or geographical indication from being granted protection or used in that Contracting Party, protection of the registered appellation of origin or geographical indication shall not limit the rights conferred by that trademark in any other way.

(2)[Personal Name Used in Business] The provisions of this Act shall not prejudice the right of any person to use, in the course of trade, that person’s name or the name of that person’s predecessor in business, except where such name is used in such a manner as to mislead the public.

(3)[Rights Based on a Plant Variety or Animal Breed Denomination] The provisions of this Act shall not prejudice the right of any person to use a plant variety or animal breed denomination in the course of trade, except where such plant variety or animal breed denomination is used in such a manner as to mislead the public.

(4)[Safeguards in the Case of Notification of Withdrawal of Refusal or a Grant of Protection] Where a Contracting Party that has refused the effects of an international registration under Article 15 on the ground of use under a prior trademark or other right, as referred to in this Article, notifies the withdrawal of that refusal under Article 16 or a grant of protection under Article 18, the resulting protection of the appellation of origin or geographical indication shall not prejudice that right or its use, unless the protection was granted following the cancellation, non-renewal, revocation or invalidation of the right.

Article 14
Enforcement Procedures and Remedies

Each Contracting Party shall make available effective legal remedies for the protection of registered appellations of origin and registered geographical indications and provide that legal proceedings for ensuring their protection may be brought by a public authority or by any interested party, whether a natural person or a legal entity and whether public or private, depending on its legal system and practice.

Chapter IV
Refusal and Other Actions in Respect of International Registrations

Article 15
Refusal

(1)[Refusal of Effects of International Registration]

a)Within the time limit specified in the Regulations, the Competent Authority of a Contracting Party may notify the International Bureau of the refusal of the effects of an international registration in its territory. The notification of refusal may be made by the Competent Authority ex officio, if its legislation so permits, or at the request of an interested party.

b)The notification of refusal shall set out the grounds on which the refusal is based.

(2)[Protection Under Other Instruments] The notification of a refusal shall not be detrimental to any other protection that may be available, in accordance with Article 10(2), to the denomination or indication concerned in the Contracting Party to which the refusal relates.

(3)[Obligation to Provide Opportunity for Interested Parties] Each Contracting Party shall provide a reasonable opportunity, for anyone whose interests would be affected by an international registration, to request the Competent Authority to notify a refusal in respect of the international registration.

(4)[Registration, Publication and Communication of Refusals] The International Bureau shall record the refusal and the grounds for the refusal in the International Register. It shall publish the refusal and the grounds for the refusal and shall communicate the notification of refusal to the Competent Authority of the Contracting Party of Origin or, where the application has been filed directly in accordance with Article 5(3), the beneficiaries or the natural person or legal entity referred to in Article 5(2)(ii) as well as the Competent Authority of the Contracting Party of Origin.

(5)[National Treatment] Each Contracting Party shall make available to interested parties affected by a refusal the same judicial and administrative remedies that are available to its own nationals in respect of the refusal of protection for an appellation of origin or a geographical indication.

Article 16
Withdrawal of Refusal

A refusal may be withdrawn in accordance with the procedures specified in the Regulations. A withdrawal shall be recorded in the International Register.

Article 17
Transitional Period

(1)[Option to Grant Transitional Period] Without prejudice to Article 13, where a Contracting Party has not refused the effects of an international registration on the ground of prior use by a third party or has withdrawn such refusal or has notified a grant of protection, it may, if its legislation so permits, grant a defined period as specified in the Regulations, for terminating such use.

(2)[Notification of a Transitional Period] The Contracting Party shall notify the International Bureau of any such period, in accordance with the procedures specified in the Regulations.

Article 18
Notification of Grant of Protection

The Competent Authority of a Contracting Party may notify the International Bureau of the grant of protection to a registered appellation of origin or geographical indication. The International Bureau shall record any such notification in the International Register and publish it.

Article 19
Invalidation

(1)[Opportunity to Defend Rights] Invalidation of the effects, in part or in whole, of an international registration in the territory of a Contracting Party may be pronounced only after having given the beneficiaries an opportunity to defend their rights. Such opportunity shall also be given to the natural person or legal entity referred to in Article 5(2)(ii).

(2)[Notification, Recordal and Publication] The Contracting Party shall notify the invalidation of the effects of an international registration to the International Bureau, which shall record the invalidation in the International Register and publish it.

(3)[Protection Under Other Instruments] Invalidation shall not be detrimental to any other protection that may be available, in accordance with Article 10(2), to the denomination or indication concerned in the Contracting Party that invalidated the effects of the international registration.

Article 20
Modifications and Other Entries in the International Register

Procedures for the modification of international registrations and other entries in the International Register shall be specified in the Regulations.

Chapter V Administrative Provisions

Article 21
Membership of the Lisbon Union

The Contracting Parties shall be members of the same Special Union as the States party to the Lisbon Agreement or the 1967 Act, whether or not they are party to the Lisbon Agreement or the 1967 Act.

Article 22
Assembly of the Special Union

(1)[Composition]

a)The Contracting Parties shall be members of the same Assembly as the States party to the 1967 Act.

b)Each Contracting Party shall be represented by one delegate, who may be assisted by alternate delegates, advisors and experts.

c)Each delegation shall bear its own expenses.

(2)[Tasks]

a)The Assembly shall:

(I.)deal with all matters concerning the maintenance and development of the Special Union and the implementation of this Act;

(II.)give directions to the Director General concerning the preparation of revision conferences referred to in Article 26(1), due account being taken of any comments made by those members of the Special Union which have not ratified or acceded to this Act;

(III.)amend the Regulations;

(IV.)review and approve the reports and activities of the Director General concerning the Special Union, and give him or her all necessary instructions concerning matters within the competence of the Special Union;

(V.)determine the program and adopt the biennial budget of the Special Union, and approve its final accounts;

(VI.)adopt the financial Regulations of the Special Union;

(VII.)establish such committees and working groups as it deems appropriate to achieve the objectives of the Special Union;

(VIII.)determine which States, intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations shall be admitted to its meetings as observers;

(IX.)adopt amendments to Articles 22 to 24 and 27;

(X.)take any other appropriate action to further the objectives of the Special Union and perform any other functions as are appropriate under this Act.

b)With respect to matters which are of interest also to other Unions administered by the Organization, the Assembly shall make its decisions after having heard the advice of the Coordination Committee of the Organization.

(3)[Quorum]

a)One-half of the members of the Assembly which have the right to vote on a given matter shall constitute a quorum for the purposes of the vote on that matter.

b)Notwithstanding the provisions of subparagraph (a), if, in any session, the number of the members of the Assembly which are States, have the right to vote on a given matter and are represented is less than one-half but equal to or more than one-third of the members of the Assembly which are States and have the right to vote on that matter, the Assembly may make decisions but, with the exception of decisions concerning its own procedure, all such decisions shall take effect only if the conditions set forth hereinafter are fulfilled. The International Bureau shall communicate the said decisions to the members of the Assembly which are States, have the right to vote on the said matter and were not represented and shall invite them to express in writing their vote or abstention within a period of three months from the date of the communication. If, at the expiration of this period, the number of such members having thus expressed their vote or abstention attains the number of the members which was lacking for attaining the quorum in the session itself, such decisions shall take effect provided that at the same time the required majority still obtains.

(4)[Taking Decisions in the Assembly]

a)The Assembly shall endeavor to take its decisions by consensus.

b)Where a decision cannot be arrived at by consensus, the matter at issue shall be decided by voting. In such a case,

(I.)each Contracting Party that is a State shall have one vote and shall vote only in its own name; and

(II.)any Contracting Party that is an intergovernmental organization may vote, in place of its member States, with a number of votes equal to the number of its member States which are party to this Act. No such intergovernmental organization shall participate in the vote if any one of its member States exercises its right to vote, and vice versa.

c)On matters concerning only States that are bound by the 1967 Act, Contracting Parties that are not bound by the 1967 Act shall not have the right to vote, whereas, on matters concerning only Contracting Parties, only the latter shall have the right to vote.

(5)[Majorities]

a)Subject to Articles 25(2) and 27(2), the decisions of the Assembly shall require two-thirds of the votes cast.

b)Abstentions shall not be considered as votes.

(6)[Sessions]

a)The Assembly shall meet upon convocation by the Director General and, in the absence of exceptional circumstances, during the same period and at the same place as the General Assembly of the Organization.

b)The Assembly shall meet in extraordinary session upon convocation by the Director General, either at the request of one-fourth of the members of the Assembly or on the Director General’s own initiative.

c)The agenda of each session shall be prepared by the Director General.

(7)[Rules of Procedure] The Assembly shall adopt its own rules of procedure.

Article 23
International Bureau

(1)[Administrative Tasks]

a)International registration and related duties, as well as all other administrative tasks concerning the Special Union, shall be performed by the International Bureau.

b)In particular, the International Bureau shall prepare the meetings and provide the Secretariat of the Assembly and of such committees and working groups as may have been established by the Assembly.

c)The Director General shall be the Chief Executive of the Special Union and shall represent the Special Union.

(2)[Role of the International Bureau in the Assembly and Other Meetings] The Director General and any staff member designated by him shall participate, without the right to vote, in all meetings of the Assembly, the committees and working groups established by the Assembly. The Director General, or a staff member designated by him, shall be ex officio Secretary of such a body.

(3)[Conferences]

a)The International Bureau shall, in accordance with the directions of the Assembly, make the preparations for any revision conferences.

b)The International Bureau may consult with intergovernmental and international and national non-governmental organizations concerning the said preparations.

c)The Director General and persons designated by him shall take part, without the right to vote, in the discussions at revision conferences.

(4)[Other Tasks] The International Bureau shall carry out any other tasks assigned to it in relation to this Act.

Article 24
Finances

(1)[Budget] The income and expenses of the Special Union shall be reflected in the budget of the Organization in a fair and transparent manner.

(2)[Sources of Financing of the Budget] The income of the Special Union shall be derived from the following sources:

(I.)fees collected under Article 7(1) and (2);

(II.)proceeds from the sale of, or royalties on, the publications of the International Bureau;

(III.)gifts, bequests, and subventions;

(IV.)rent, investment revenue, and other, including miscellaneous, income;

(V.)special contributions of the Contracting Parties or any alternative source derived from the Contracting Parties or beneficiaries, or both, if and to the extent to which receipts from the sources indicated in items (i) to (iv) do not suffice to cover the expenses, as decided by the Assembly.

(3)[Fixing of Fees; Level of the Budget]

a)The amounts of the fees referred to in paragraph (2) shall be fixed by the Assembly on the proposal of the Director General and shall be so fixed that, together with the income derived from other sources under paragraph (2), the revenue of the Special Union should, under normal circumstances, be sufficient to cover the expenses of the International Bureau for maintaining the international registration service.

b)If the Program and Budget of the Organization is not adopted before the beginning of a new financial period, the authorization to the Director General to incur obligations and make payments shall be at the same level as it was in the previous financial period.

(4)[Establishing the Special Contributions Referred to in Paragraph (2)(v)] For the purpose of establishing its contribution, each Contracting Party shall belong to the same class as it belongs to in the context of the Paris Convention or, if it is not a Contracting Party of the Paris Convention, as it would belong to if it were a Contracting Party of the Paris Convention. Intergovernmental organizations shall be considered to belong to contribution class I (one), unless otherwise unanimously decided by the Assembly. The contribution shall be partially weighted according to the number of registrations originating in the Contracting Party, as decided by the Assembly.

(5)[Working Capital Fund] The Special Union shall have a working capital fund, which shall be constituted by payments made by way of advance by each member of the Special Union when the Special Union so decides. If the fund becomes insufficient, the Assembly may decide to increase it. The proportion and the terms of payment shall be fixed by the Assembly on the proposal of the Director General. Should the Special Union record a surplus of income over expenditure in any financial period, the Working Capital Fund advances may be repaid to each member proportionate to their initial payments upon proposal by the Director General and decision by the Assembly.

(6)[Advances by Host State]

a)In the headquarters agreement concluded with the State on the territory of which the Organization has its headquarters, it shall be provided that, whenever the working capital fund is insufficient, such State shall grant advances. The amount of those advances and the conditions on which they are granted shall be the subject of separate agreements, in each case, between such State and the Organization.

b)The State referred to in subparagraph (a) and the Organization shall each have the right to denounce the obligation to grant advances, by written notification. Denunciation shall take effect three years after the end of the year in which it has been notified.

(7)[Auditing of Accounts] The auditing of the accounts shall be effected by one or more of the States members of the Special Union or by external auditors, as provided in the Financial Regulations of the Organization. They shall be designated, with their agreement, by the Assembly.

Article 25
Regulations

(1)[Subject-Matter] The details for carrying out this Act shall be established in the Regulations.

(2)[Amendment of Certain Provisions of the Regulations]

a)The Assembly may decide that certain provisions of the Regulations may be amended only by unanimity or only by a three-fourths majority.

b)In order for the requirement of unanimity or a three-fourths majority no longer to apply in the future to the amendment of a provision of the Regulations, unanimity shall be required.

c)In order for the requirement of unanimity or a three-fourths majority to apply in the future to the amendment of a provision of the Regulations, a three-fourths majority shall be required.

(3)[Conflict Between This Act and the Regulations] In the case of conflict between the provisions of this Act and those of the Regulations, the former shall prevail.

Chapter VI Revision and Amendment

Article 26
Revision

(1)[Revision Conferences] This Act may be revised by Diplomatic Conferences of the Contracting Parties. The convocation of any Diplomatic Conference shall be decided by the Assembly.

(2)[Revision or Amendment of Certain Articles] Articles 22 to 24 and 27 may be amended either by a revision conference or by the Assembly according to the provisions of Article 27.

Article 27
Amendment of Certain Articles by the Assembly

(1)[Proposals for Amendment]

a)Proposals for the amendment of Articles 22 to 24, and the present Article, may be initiated by any Contracting Party or by the Director General.

b)Such proposals shall be communicated by the Director General to the Contracting Parties at least six months in advance of their consideration by the Assembly.

(2)[Majorities] Adoption of any amendment to the Articles referred to in paragraph (1) shall require a three-fourths majority, except that adoption of any amendment to Article 22, and to the present paragraph, shall require a four-fifths majority.

(3)[Entry into Force]

a)Except where subparagraph (b) applies, any amendment to the Articles referred to in paragraph (1) shall enter into force one month after written notifications of acceptance, effected in accordance with their respective constitutional processes, have been received by the Director General from three-fourths of those Contracting Parties which, at the time the amendment was adopted, were members of the Assembly and had the right to vote on that amendment.

b)Any amendment to Article 22(3) or (4) or to this subparagraph shall not enter into force if, within six months of its adoption by the Assembly, any Contracting Party notifies the Director General that it does not accept such amendment.

c)Any amendment which enters into force in accordance with the provisions of this paragraph shall bind all the States and intergovernmental organizations which are Contracting Parties at the time the amendment enters into force, or which become Contracting Parties at a subsequent date.

Chapter VII Final Provisions

Article 28
Becoming Party to This Act

(1)[Eligibility] Subject to Article 29 and paragraphs (2) and (3) of the present Article,

(I.)any State which is party to the Paris Convention may sign and become party to this Act;

(II.)any other State member of the Organization may sign and become party to this Act if it declares that its legislation complies with the provisions of the Paris Convention concerning appellations of origin, geographical indications and trademarks;

(III.)any intergovernmental organization may sign and become party to this Act, provided that at least one member State of that intergovernmental organization is party to the Paris Convention and provided that the intergovernmental organization declares that it has been duly authorized, in accordance with its internal procedures, to become party to this Act and that, under the constituting treaty of the intergovernmental organization, legislation applies under which regional titles of protection can be obtained in respect of geographical indications.

(2)[Ratification or Accession] Any State or intergovernmental organization referred to in paragraph (1) may deposit

(I.)an instrument of ratification, if it has signed this Act; or

(II.)an instrument of accession, if it has not signed this Act.

(3)[Effective Date of Deposit]

a)Subject to subparagraph (b), the effective date of the deposit of an instrument of ratification or accession shall be the date on which that instrument is deposited.

b)The effective date of the deposit of the instrument of ratification or accession of any State that is a member State of an intergovernmental organization and in respect of which the protection of appellations of origin or geographical indications can only be obtained on the basis of legislation applying between the member States of the intergovernmental organization shall be the date on which the instrument of ratification or accession of that intergovernmental organization is deposited, if that date is later than the date on which the instrument of the said State has been deposited. However, this subparagraph does not apply with regard to States that are party to the Lisbon Agreement or the 1967 Act and shall be without prejudice to the application of Article 31 with regard to such States.

Article 29
Effective Date of Ratifications and Accessions

(1)[Instruments to Be Taken into Consideration] For the purposes of this Article, only instruments of ratification or accession that are deposited by States or intergovernmental organizations referred to in Article 28(1) and that have an effective date according to Article 28(3) shall be taken into consideration.

(2)[Entry into Force of This Act] This Act shall enter into force three months after five eligible parties referred to in Article 28 have deposited their instruments of ratification or accession.

(3)[Entry into Force of Ratifications and Accessions]

a)Any State or intergovernmental organization that has deposited its instrument of ratification or accession three months or more before the date of entry into force of this Act shall become bound by this Act on the date of the entry into force of this Act.

b)Any other State or intergovernmental organization shall become bound by this Act three months after the date on which it has deposited its instrument of ratification or accession or at any later date indicated in that instrument.

(4)[International Registrations Effected Prior to Accession] In the territory of the acceding State and, where the Contracting Party is an intergovernmental organization, the territory in which the constituting treaty of that intergovernmental organization applies, the provisions of this Act shall apply in respect of appellations of origin and geographical indications already registered under this Act at the time the accession becomes effective, subject to Article 7(4) as well as the provisions of Chapter IV, which shall apply mutatis mutandis. The acceding State or intergovernmental organization may also specify, in a declaration attached to its instrument of ratification or accession, an extension of the time limit referred to in Article 15(1), and the periods referred to in Article 17, in accordance with the procedures specified in the Regulations in that respect.

Article 30
Prohibition of Reservations

No reservations to this Act are permitted.

Article 31
Application of the Lisbon Agreement and the 1967 Act

(1)[Relations Between States Party to Both This Act and the Lisbon Agreement or the 1967 Act] This Act alone shall be applicable as regards the mutual relations of States party to both this Act and the Lisbon Agreement or the 1967 Act. However, with regard to international registrations of appellations of origin effective under the Lisbon Agreement or the 1967 Act, the States shall accord no lower protection than is required by the Lisbon Agreement or the 1967 Act.

(2)[Relations Between States Party to Both This Act and the Lisbon Agreement or the 1967 Act and States Party to the Lisbon Agreement or the 1967 Act Without Being Party to This Act] Any State party to both this Act and the Lisbon Agreement or the 1967 Act shall continue to apply the Lisbon Agreement or the 1967 Act, as the case may be, in its relations with States party to the Lisbon Agreement or the 1967 Act that are not party to this Act.

Article 32
Denunciation

(1)[Notification] Any Contracting Party may denounce this Act by notification addressed to the Director General.

(2)[Effective Date] Denunciation shall take effect one year after the date on which the Director General has received the notification or at any later date indicated in the notification. It shall not affect the application of this Act to any application pending and any international registration in force in respect of the denouncing Contracting Party at the time of the coming into effect of the denunciation.

Article 33
Languages of this Act; Signature

(1)[Original Texts; Official Texts]

a)This Act shall be signed in a single original in the English, Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian and Spanish languages, all texts being equally authentic.

b)Official texts shall be established by the Director General, after consultation with the interested Governments, in such other languages as the Assembly may designate.

(2)[Time Limit for Signature] This Act shall remain open for signature at the headquarters of the Organization for one year after its adoption.

Article 34
Depositary

The Director General shall be the depositary of this Act.

(1)

     Agreed Statement concerning Article 11(2): For the purposes of this Act, it is understood that where certain elements of the denomination or indication constituting the appellation of origin or geographical indication have a generic character in the Contracting Party of Origin, their protection under this paragraph shall not be required in the other Contracting Parties. For greater certainty, a refusal or invalidation of a trademark, or a finding of infringement, in the Contracting Parties under the terms of Article 11 cannot be based on the component that has a generic character.

(2)

     Agreed Statement concerning Article 12: For the purposes of this Act, it is understood that Article 12 is without prejudice to the application of the provisions of this Act concerning prior use, as, prior to international registration, the denomination or indication constituting the appellation of origin or geographical indication may already, in whole or in part, be generic in a Contracting Party other than the Contracting Party of Origin, for example, because the denomination or indication, or part of it, is identical with a term customary in common language as the common name of a good or service in such Contracting Party, or is identical with the customary name of a grape variety in such Contracting Party.

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