Fri. Jul 19th, 2024
Brussels, 3 May 2023

The Commission welcomes the provisional political agreement reached by the European Parliament and Council on a new Regulation to protect the intellectual property for craft and industrial products that rely on the originality and authenticity of traditional skills from their regions.

This framework will cover products such as glass, textiles, porcelain, cutlery, pottery, cuckoo clocks, musical instruments and furnitures. Examples of those products that will be able to benefit from this new geographical indication protection scheme are Murano glass, Donegal tweed, Porcelain de Limoges, Solingen cutlery, cuchillos de Albacete, Boleslawiec pottery, etc. While such products benefit from an EU and sometimes world reputation and standing, producers have so far lacked an EU scheme recognising and protecting the products’ origin link with their reputation to their quality.

The new Regulation will enable EU producers to protect craft and industrial products and their traditional know-how in Europe and beyond, including online. The Regulation will make it easier for consumers to recognise the quality of such products and make more informed choices. It will help to promote, attract and retain skills and jobs in Europe’s regions, contributing to their economic development. The regulation will also ensure that traditional craft and industrial products are finally put on an equal footing with protected geographical indications that already exist in the agricultural area.

The new EU Regulation on geographical indications for craft and industrial products will:

  • Establish an EU wide protection for geographical indications of craft and industrial products to help producers protect and enforce the intellectual property rights of their products across the EU. It will also address the currently fragmented and partial protections that exist at national level. The new Regulation will also facilitate online protection of craft and industrial GIs, as well as action against fake products, including those sold online.
  • Enable simple and cost-efficient registration of GIs for craft and industrial products by establishing a two-level application process. This would require producers to file their GI applications to designated Member States’ authorities, who will then submit successful applications for further evaluation and approval to the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO). A direct application procedure to EUIPO will also be possible for Member States that do not have a national registration procedure in place. The new regulation will also facilitate the registration of GIs, in particular for SMEs. Also, the new regulation offers the possibility for producers to self-declare compliance of their products with the product specifications, making the system lighter and less costly.
  • Allow full compatibility with international GI protection by enabling producers of registered craft and industrial GIs to protect their products in all countries that are signatories of the Geneva Act on Appellations of Origin and Geographical Indications under the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO), to which the EU acceded in November 2019, and which covers craft and industrial GIs. At the same time, it will now be possible to protect corresponding GIs from third countries within the EU.
  • Support the development of Europe’s rural and other regions by providing incentives for producers, especially SMEs, to invest into new authentic products and create niche markets. The new Regulation will also help to retain unique skills that might otherwise disappear, particularly in Europe’s rural and less developed regions. Regions would benefit from the reputation of the new GIs. This can contribute to attracting tourists and to creating new highly skilled jobs in the regions, while boosting their economic recovery.
Next Steps

The provisional political agreement reached by the European Parliament, Council and Commission is now subject to formal approval by the European Parliament and the Council.

Background

The provisional political agreement follows the Commission proposal for a new EU Regulation on geographical indications that was adopted last 13 April 2022. Building on the Intellectual Property Action Plan adopted in November 2020, the European Commission announced that it would consider the feasibility of a GI protection system for craft and industrial products at EU level. The new Regulation furthermore built on calls from producers, regional authorities, the European Parliament and the Committee of Regions, asking the Commission to create a regulatory framework for the protection of craft and industrial products. In November 2019, the EU’s accession to the Geneva Act of the Lisbon Agreement on Appellations of Origins and Geographical Indications, a treaty administered by the World Intellectual Property Organization (‘WIPO’) brought further impulse.

Current Union law protects GIs for agricultural products, food and wines. The new Regulation would create a complementary protection system, aiming as well for high intellectual property protection, improved consumer information and boosting regional recovery. The new system will offer the same level of protection while taking into account the different nature of craft and industrial products. It will enter into application in 2025.

For More Information

Commission proposal for a new EU Regulation on geographical indications

Questions and Answers

More information on Geographical indications for craft and industrial products

Quotes
Source – EU Commission

 

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