Compte rendu ‒ Conseil des ADPIC ‒ Afficher les détails de l'intervention/la déclaration

Ambassador István Major (Hungary)
États-Unis d'Amérique
E.i Proposal from the European Communities and their member States for a multilateral register of geographical indications for wines and spirits based on Article 23.4 of the TRIPS Agreement (document IP/C/W/107)
41. The representative of the United States found the EC proposal valuable in that it prompted all delegations to examine in some detail what was the true purpose of Article 23.4. His comments were based on a preliminary examination of the proposal. He recalled that a considerable amount of information on individual Members' regimes for the protection of geographical indications for wines and spirits had been submitted last year in preparation for the negotiations to be undertaken under Article 23.4. In addition, the Secretariat's analysis of existing international registration systems had been useful in determining the level of protection that already existed. In spite of that information, much about the protection of geographical indications, including for wines and spirits, remained unclear, particularly in connection with enforcement, and should be clarified before any negotiations went forward under Article 23.4. His delegation believed that information to be developed in the review under Article 24.2 would provide Members with a clear and detailed picture of the measures that Members had implemented to fulfil their obligations. Once that information was available, discussion could proceed to develop a multilateral notification and registration system that followed the true purpose of Article 23.4. His delegation believed that it was important to examine the EC proposal in the light of that true purpose. He wondered whether this purpose was to create new legal obligations for Members, as the EC proposal, in his delegation's view, would. He had noted that the European Communities had expressed the view that their proposal was not intended to increase the level of protection. According to his delegation, the true purpose of Article 23.4 was to create a voluntary system that would provide transparency about recognized geographical indications and facilitate their protection under the terms of the TRIPS Agreement. This system should not impose additional legal obligations beyond those already provided in the Agreement. He also wished to highlight that the EC proposal as currently drawn up was not compatible with ways used by many Members, including the United States, to protect geographical indications, such as through certification marks, unfair competition law and common law. His delegation was also concerned that under the EC proposal Members might be needlessly burdened with constantly having to verify hundreds of individual geographical indications and might, in fact, repeatedly face a significant number of onerous opposition proceedings. This burden would be particularly taxing on Members with limited resources. His delegation looked forward to continuing the dialogue with Members, in particular on the issue of the true purpose of Article 23.4, once it had had the opportunity to analyse fully the information gathered as a result of the review under Article 24.2.