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

Ambassador Eui-yong Chung (Korea, Republic of)
C.ii.i Procedures
55. The representative of Chile associated his delegation to the statements made by Canada, Argentina, Australia, New Zealand and others. He asked whether, under the proposal made by the EC and other Members, the protection of a geographical indication might be questioned or challenged before the courts of the country where that geographical indication was located. What would be achieved at a multilateral level would not stop or deter the possibility of a challenge at a domestic level. On the other hand, if, as had been proposed by the EC, there was a system of opposition with binding effects at a multilateral level, he would then see a case where there might be a ruling by a national jurisdiction which could be the opposite of a ruling at the multilateral level, or vice versa. Which ruling would prevail? As an example, if a traditional expression notified by a group of countries was challenged in the multilateral system and also before a court of a country member of that group, and the decision at the national level was in favour of the traditional expression as a geographical indication and the decision at the multilateral level was the opposite, what would then be the legal situation? 56. Turning to the opposition procedure as proposed by the EC and their member States, he said that such an opposition seemed to only have an effect for the challenging Member: a successful challenge only released the country challenging the notification from the obligation of granting protection whereas the other Members which had not challenged would still have the obligation to grant protection to that geographical indication. This would lead to a situation where one geographical indication would be protected only in some countries, whereas, in the others, it would no longer have that protection due to the fact that there was a successful challenge. That aspect should be further examined. 57. Referring to the intervention made by the delegation of Hungary concerning the database, he pointed out that that was the price paid for the results of the Uruguay Round. He said he had no objection to the fact that all geographical indications be put on the same footing, in other words, that there was no special protection for geographical indications for wines and spirits.