(a) General Use of geographical indications is not monitored by an administrative authority. If a geographical indication has, however, been used in a misleading way, injunctive relief can be claimed by everybody who legally uses the geographical indication in question, by business persons who market goods or services of the same or similar type on the same market, by associations having as one of their purposes the repression of unfair competition, by consumer associations, and by the chambers of industry and commerce or craft chambers (Section 128, paragraph 1 of the Trade Marks Act in conjunction with Section 13, paragraph 2 of the Law Against Unfair Competition (see under question 4 above). If a geographical indication has been registered as a collective mark, the proprietor himself, i.e. the association (see under questions 17-27 above), is responsible for monitoring the use of the collective mark. If the proprietor does not take reasonable steps to prevent the collective mark from being wrongfully used in a manner incompatible with the purpose of the association or the regulations governing use of the mark, everybody may request the German Patent Office to cancel the registration (see Section 105, paragraph 1, No. 2 of the Trade Marks Act). (b) Geographical indications for wines The Länder are responsible for monitoring compliance in the wine sector. Changes or deletions are carried out ex officio if the legal prerequisites no longer apply.
[Answer 4: (a) General protection of geographical indications irrespective of the goods or services concerned In order to enjoy the kind of protection against unfair or misleading use described in the answer to question 1 above, geographical indications do not have to be formally recognized in an administrative procedure. Such protection is afforded if the relevant sectors of the public in Germany understand the indication in question as referring to the geographical origin of the goods or services to which it applies, either because the place of origin is explicitly, "directly", mentioned in the indication (Westfälischer Schinken, Solinger Stahl, Pfälzer Weinbrand) or because the origin is "indirectly" referred to, for example by reference to a flag, a symbol (for instance the "Berliner Bear") or a picture which suggests a certain geographical origin. Whether this is the case may have to be proved in court. Injunctive relief is provided for violations of the prohibitions against unfair or misleading use of geographical indications (Sections 126 et seq. of the Trade Mark Law; Section 3 of the Law Against Unfair Competition). This claim for injunctive relief cannot only be asserted by everybody who legally uses the geographical indication in question, but also by businessmen who market goods or services of the same or similar type on the same market, by associations having as one of their purposes the repression of unfair competition, by consumer associations, and by the chambers of industry and commerce or craft chambers (Section 128, paragraph 1 of the Trade Mark Law and Section 13, paragraph 2 of the Law Against Unfair Competition). This is in line with Article 22.2 of the TRIPS Agreement. (b) Geographical indications for wines According to Article 72(a) of Regulation (EEC) No. 823/87, Member States have to adopt suitable measures to enable the persons concerned, pursuant to the provisions of Articles 23 and 24 of the TRIPS Agreement, to prevent in the EC the use of geographical indications for products whose origin does not correspond to the place specified in the geographical indication, even if the actual origin is indicated or if the geographical indication is used in a translation or together with expressions like "method", "type", "style", "imitation". Furthermore, the Land authorities in charge of the controls, including wine inspectors, may prohibit the placing on the market as well as imports and exports of products for which misleading indications, designations, other information or presentations are used and may withdraw these products from the market. "Misleading" also means presentations, designs or correct information which could raise false expectations regarding the geographical origin of the products. This rule also applies if the producer country has been duly indicated (Section 25, paragraph 1 and paragraph 3 of the Wine Act). Such a violation can also be prosecuted under criminal law (Section 49, No. 4 of the Wine Act). According to Section 23, paragraph 1 of the Wine Act, only the following indications of origin of products may be used: (1) for quality wine psr, in addition to the name of the specified region prescribed on the basis of legal acts by the European Community: (a) the names of the vineyard sites and areas registered in the vineyard register; (b) the names of communities and places; (2) for vin de pays (Landwein) the names of areas cultivating it; (3) for table wine which has not been defined as vin de pays (Landwein) the names of wine-growing areas and subregions. Section 3 of the Wine Act lays down the 13 German wine-growing areas. According to Section 23, paragraph 4 of the Wine Act the Land5 governments regulate the establishment and keeping of the vineyard register (register of vineyard sites and areas). In doing so, they have to lay down, for the geographical units of vineyard site and area: (1) the demarcation; (2) detailed prerequisites and the procedure for registrations and deletions including determination of the names; (3) application eligibility as well as content and form of the applications for registration of vineyard sites and areas in the vineyard register; (4) registration ex officio and deletion. Section 2 of the Wine Ordinance lays down the 19 German areas cultivating vin de pays (Landwein). Section 1 of the Wine Ordinance lays down the 5 German wine-growing areas for table wine, including their subregions. (c) Additional protection of geographical indications for spirits Additional protection is provided by the following provisions: - Article 1, paragraph 4(c) of the EC Regulation on spirit drinks: No. 1578/89 for Korn and Kornbrand; - Annex II in conjunction with Article 5, paragraph 3 of the EC Regulation on spirit drinks, No. 1576/89; Annex III to the EC Regulation on spirit drinks, No. 1576/89; - Section 2 of the national ordinance on spirit drinks (Deutscher Weinbrand); - German definitions of spirit drinks (Steinhäger, Schwarzwälder Kirschwasser). These definitions represent a written summary of the generally accepted view on the composition and labelling of the individual categories of spirit drinks, which the German spirit drinks industry has elaborated in agreement with business circles and consumers. In case of legal disputes on the question whether a specific labelling or presentation of spirit drinks is liable to mislead the public, the courts draw on these definitions as an aid in interpretation. In addition to the mechanisms mentioned in this response under (a) above, misleading use of geographical indications for spirits can be enjoined by virtue of an administrative procedure under food law. This is, for instance, the case when a manufacturer of spirit drinks markets a product with an indication which the general public understands as pointing to the geographical origin of the product, but the product does not in any way come from this region (no raw materials from this region, no manufacturing or production stages in this region), e.g. if a German enterprise were to produce a Weinbrand (brandy) in Hamburg from French wines and market the brandy under the geographical indication Pfälzer Weinbrand. Competitors, consumer protection associations or the protective association for spirit drinks can turn to the food inspection authorities locally responsible for the surveillance of the composition and presentation of spirit drinks and request them to issue an administrative injunction. Against this injunction the manufacturer or dealer concerned can initiate an administrative opposition procedure, and, if the administrative opposition procedure was unsuccessful, legal proceedings in an administrative court.]