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

Ambassador Eui-yong Chung (Korea, Republic of)
European Union
C.iv Participation
136. The representative of the European Communities reiterated his comments made earlier that the multilateral register would not replace national registration systems. Therefore, the effects of registration at the national level and at the multilateral level were different. The effects attached to registration at the multilateral level were those effects that were specified in the establishment of the register. The effects of a national registration were those that were decided by national law. If the US registered a geographical indication for wines and spirits, it would get the presumption of validity attached to the multilateral system of registration. For example, if the US or the right holder were to litigate before European courts, it would benefit from a reversal in the burden of proof. It would be up to the third person using the US name to demonstrate that the name was, for example, a generic name or to avail itself of any other exception. That would be the effect of the multilateral registration system. If the US right holder asked for protection under the EC system for wines and spirits, it would benefit from a "TRIPS plus" protection that the EC provided to its right holders. In other words, it would benefit from special enforcement mechanisms that were not mandatory in the TRIPS Agreement.