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

Ambassador István Major (Hungary)
Hong Kong, Chine
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)
42. The representative of Hong Kong, China, welcoming the EC proposal as an important contribution to the work under Article 23.4, said that his delegation was studying the proposal in detail, but wished to make the following observations and comments, without prejudice to his delegation's eventual position. First, Article 23.4 referred specifically to the establishment of a multilateral system of notification and registration of geographical indications for wines. He had noted the clarification made by the European Communities that there was a reference to geographical indications for spirits in the Council's Report (1996), which had been endorsed by the Singapore Ministerial Conference. Nevertheless, Article 23.4 as drafted referred expressly only to wines and not to spirits. He wondered, therefore, whether there was a sufficient legal basis for work on spirits at this particular juncture. Secondly, the third paragraph of the introduction to the EC proposal referred to the possibility of launching complementary discussions with the objective of extending the multilateral register's coverage to other goods in stages. His delegation had some misgivings about the legal basis, or the lack of one, for extending work under Article 23.4 to other goods. He noticed in this connection that there was a provision in Article 24.1 concerning further negotiations aimed at increasing the protection of individual geographical indications under Article 23. Since the reference in this provision was, again, to Article 23, which in turn covered wines and to some extent spirits, how could Article 24.1 provide the legal basis for negotiations concerning geographical indications in respect of other goods, whether in stages or otherwise? He would appreciate clarification by the European Communities on this point. Further to a point raised by the United States, when looking at practical aspects, Hong Kong, China's system of protecting geographical indications left it to the owner of the geographical indication to take whatever action he wished to protect it, whether by registering the indication as a trademark or a certification mark, or by using the common law of passing off. He noted that the United States had pointed out that this was part of their practice as well and he concurred with this delegation on the question as to how the EC proposal would match with a legal system based on passing off and the registration of trademarks and certification marks.