Minutes - TRIPS Council - View details of the intervention/statement

H.E. Ambassador Dr. Walter Werner
92.   The protection of geographical indications in Montenegro is governed by the Law on Indications of Geographical Origin, the Law on Quality Schemes for Agricultural and Food Products, the Law on Wine and the Law on Spirit Drinks. 93.   The Law on Indications of Geographical Origin does not apply to products and services where the acquisition, legal protection and the exercise of rights in respect of the use of the indication of geographical origin is regulated by a specific regulation. 94.   Protection of geographical indications is conditioned on registration. Geographical indications for agriculture and food products, spirit drinks and wines are registered in the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, while GIs for all other products are registered in the Intellectual Property Office of Montenegro – Ministry of Economy. 95.   In accordance with the aforementioned legislation, foreign natural or legal persons, or foreign associations may apply for the registration of a geographical indication, if the geographical indication was recognized in the country of origin, when it stems from the international agreements. 96.   Recognition of a geographical indication does not need to be renewed or reaffirmed, also a geographical indication does not need to be used in order to maintain rights. 97.   The decision on registration of the designation of origin, or geographical indication shall be cancelled in cases where no product protected with the designation of origin or geographical indication has been marketed for at least seven years. 98.   "Njeguški pršut", "Pljevaljski sir", "Crnogorska goveđa pršuta", "Crnogorska stelja" and "Crnogorski pršut" are some of the Agricultural and Food Products labelled with a protected geographical origin, and I invite you if you have opportunity to try some of them. Unfortunately, I could not find them on the market in Geneva.
The Council took note of the statements made and agreed to revert to the matter at its next meeting.
24.   The Chair said Article 24.2 of the TRIPS Agreement required the Council to keep under review the application of the TRIPS provisions on geographical indications (GIs). The principal tool for the review was the Checklist of Questions (IP/C/13 and Add.1). At the Council's meeting in November 2018, Ukraine had introduced its responses to the GI checklist (IP/C/W/117/Add.35). Since then, Montenegro had submitted its responses to the Checklist (IP/C/W/117/Add.36) and Norway had updated its earlier responses (IP/C/W/177/Add.7/Rev.1).
25.   The Chair said that fewer than 50, out of 164 Members, had responded to the Checklist. Many of the earlier responses were also likely to be outdated and did not adequately reflect the fact that GI protection was an active area of legal and policy development at the domestic level and in free trade agreements (FTAs). He encouraged delegations to provide responses to the Checklist or to update earlier responses. He also recalled the Council's recommendation, made in March 2010, inviting Members to share information on bilateral agreements related to the protection of GIs. Such information could greatly facilitate the Council's conduct of this review.
26.   The representatives Montenegro, Norway and Switzerland took the floor.
27.   The Council took note of the statements made and agreed to revert to the matter at its next meeting.
IP/C/M/91, IP/C/M/91/Add.1, IP/C/M/91/Corr.1