A New British Geographical Indications Regime after Brexit

Author Dominik Hundhammer
Licence CC BY-SA 3.0
Source Wikipedia











Jane Lambert

In Geographical Indications I quoted the WIPO definition of a geographical indication ("GI") as  "a sign used on products that have a specific geographical origin and possess qualities or a reputation that are due to that origin".   I also stated that the UK has an international obligation to protect such signs under art 22 (2) of the TRIPS Agreement which is annexed to the WTO Agreement as Annex 1C. In Geographical Indications after Brexit 6 Oct 2018 NIPC Branding I noted that this country had discharged that obligation through EU legislation and that the UK will need to establish its own GI regime in order to comply with art 22 (2) TRIPS whether it leaves the EU with or without a withdrawal agreement.  On 5 Fev 2019 the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs ("DEFRA") published Protecting food and drink names if there's no Brexit deal stating what food and drink producers with GI protection need to know if the UK leaves the EU with no deal.

Under the heading "Rules from 29 March 2019", DEFRA confirms that the UK will set up its own GI schemes which will mirror the EU schemes and fulfil the UK’s WTO obligations.  DEFRA will
  • manage the schemes
  • maintain the register of protected products, and 
  • process new applications,
The British scheme will have the same names as the EU schemes:
  • Protected Designation of Origin (PDO)
  • Protected Geographical Indication (PGI), and
  • Traditional Specialities Guaranteed (TSG).
Each will have its own logo.  Rules will be made for the use of those logos such as their size and positioning which will be enforced by local authority trading standards officers.

All British products that are registered under the EU schemes will automatically be protected in the UK under the new scheme and their producers will be allowed to use one of the new British logos.  Foreign food and agricultural producers may also use such logos if they are recognized under the new scheme.  So, too, can wine, spirits and aromatized wine producers,

DEFRA expects the EU to continue to protect British products even if the UK leaves without a deal. Should not that be the case, the British government will assist British producers to requalify for EU protection.  DEFRA also reminds British producers that they can apply to the EU Intellectual Property Office for a collective mark. Brexit should make no difference to the protection of British GI in countries outside the EU.

No draft legislation appears to have been published so far but I shall discuss any that does appear in NIPC Branding,  Anyone wishing to discuss this article or GI should call me on 020 7404 5252 or send me a message through my contact form.

Further Reading
27 May 2010    Geographical Indications   NIPC Branding
 8  Oct  2018     Geographical Indications after Brexit  NIPC Branding

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