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

Ambassador Eui-yong Chung (Korea, Republic of)
European Union
C.i Definition of the term "geographical indication" and eligibility of geographical indications for inclusion in the system
57. The representative of the European Communities said that no Member disagreed that the definition of geographical indications which should be used was the definition laid down in Article 22.1. He was concerned when delegations suggested that there was a need to reach a common understanding on the scope and application of Article 22.1. That would be in contradiction with what one delegation had said with regard to the Doha mandate that it was a clear and narrow mandate. It was clear from the wording of Article 23.4 what the objective of the negotiations was; it did not say "subject to" or "provided that" there was a common understanding reached on the scope and application of Article 22.1. That was not to say that some of the questions raised by Members were not interesting ones, but he did not understand how the reaching of a common understanding would fit an agreement on a multilateral system of notification and registration. This suggestion should not be pursued. Turning to the concern expressed by the US delegation with regard to the indication in paragraph 5 of the EC's communication (TN/IP/W/3) that only their own proposal and that of Hungary were making a genuine attempt to fulfil the requirements, he said that this was in line with previous comments by his delegation that the proposal tabled by the US and other Members would not lead to a meaningful system, and that was the spirit within which paragraph 5 of document TN/IP/W/3 should be read. 58. He recalled that Members had had at their disposal, for a considerable period of time, a composite paper which had been drafted by the Secretariat and did cover many of those questions. Surely, there were many books and articles written about the definition and application of Article 22.1. There was also reference to EC Regulation 753/2002, which had been discussed the previous week in the TBT Committee. In his delegation's view, this Regulation should be discussed, if so decided, in that Committee and not in the Special Session. Regarding the term "traditional", he said that there were certain traditional expressions, such as "vintage" or "ruby", which could be reserved for Community wines and which could also be used by wines of third countries if this was possible in accordance with Community legislation. Traditional expressions were attached to a wine which had a geographical indication; there was therefore a distinction between a "traditional expression" and a "geographical indication". In addition, traditional expressions were only protected in one language and for one type of wine, liqueur, sparkling wine, etc., so the protection was much more limited than that provided for geographical indications.