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

Ambassador Eui-yong Chung (Korea, Republic of)
European Union
C.ii The purpose of the notification and registration system
96. The representative of the European Communities explained that, under the EC's proposal, a Member could oppose a notified geographical indication on the basis of the exceptions, and once it had lodged such an opposition, the exceptions would continue as far as this Member was concerned. Each country would have the opportunity to exercise the exceptions via an opposition procedure and to that extent they would not disappear. If a name was believed to be a generic name, a Member would be free to oppose the registration of a geographical indication. The EC did not propose a system in which two countries would lose or win but one where countries would negotiate in case of oppositions and would have an opportunity to resolve the dispute to the mutual satisfaction of both countries as any negotiation between two WTO Members. What the EC proposed in the Council was not to apply their own system on the multilateral level but a more humble approach. The proposal outlined the main features such a registration would entail. As it was still in skeleton form, it remained to determine each possibility and the consequences if a country did not use a certain exception for purposes of opposition. His delegation was ready to work with all Members to find an appropriate solution for such cases. He also explained that the "Feta" case was still being discussed at the EC level.