4 May 2023TrademarksLiz Hockley

EU inks deal to safeguard Murano glass and others as GIs

Lawmakers sign long-awaited agreement to protect certain craft and industrial products following an outcry from MEPs | New regulation will include online protection for local producers.

The European Parliament and Council have unveiled an agreement aimed at designating craft and industrial products as geographical indications (GIs), to bring the protection of such items in line with agricultural goods.

The deal was officially confirmed late on Tuesday, May 2, and the regulation will cover products such as glass, textiles, porcelain, cutlery, pottery, cuckoo clocks, musical instruments and furniture.

Glass, tweed and cutlery

Products like Murano glass, Donegal tweed and Solingen cutlery are expected to receive GIs, following concerns that these goods are insufficiently protected in the marketplace.

As well as helping producers protect the IP of their goods across Europe and beyond, the scheme will facilitate the online protection of craft and industrial GIs, including action against counterfeit goods. Applying to register such GIs will be a two-step process, with producers filing applications to designated member states’ authorities who will then submit successful applications to the  European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) for further evaluation and approval.

Those from member states without a national registration procedure can apply directly to the EUIPO. The regulation is designed to be compatible with international GI protection as producers of registered craft and industrial GIs will be able to protect their goods in all countries that are signatories of the Geneva Act on Appellations of Origin and Geographical Indications under the  World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).

A long-running campaign

MEPs have been calling for EU-wide protection of locally made products since 2015. Lawmakers behind the deal hope that the scheme will encourage SMEs to invest in new authentic products, help producers retain unique skills and ultimately boost tourism and jobs.

The provisional agreement is now subject to formal approval by the European Parliament and Council. It would enter into force 20 days after its publication in the EU's Official Journal, with the regulation applying two years after this date.

MEP  Marion Walsmann said: “I am particularly pleased that we have succeeded in pushing for an efficient application mechanism with minimal administrative burden and which is particularly attractive for SMEs, since they will benefit from an easier application process and lower fees.

“This new mechanism will not just help with raising the awareness of traditional products from less-developed regions, attract tourists and create jobs. It will also ensure fair competition for producers, helping them to fight counterfeit products while providing assurances for consumers that they are buying a genuine product with specific qualities.”

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Jurisdiction reports
14 May 2023   Since 1992 a special type of protection for wines, spirit drinks and other agricultural products and foodstuffs such as cheese has been available in the European Union. It is called geographical indications.
14 April 2022   A newly proposed framework from the European Commission seeks to protect products such as Murano glass, Donegal tweed, and Porcelaine de Limoges, through a geographical indication system.
13 September 2023   European Parliament agrees to offer geographical indication protection for locally made goods | Up to 500 products currently stand to benefit from both...