Both producers of quality products associated with an origin (products elaborated in a specific geographical area) and consumers looking for this type of products will benefit from the recent revision of an international treaty that protects appellations of geographical origin of products such as coffee, tea, fruits, wine, cheese or pottery, glass and textile products.
Let's think, for example, in the coffee of Colombia, the tea of Darjeeling, the Florida oranges, champagne, the Dutch Gouda cheese, the blue ceramics of Jaipur or the Harris Tweed. Diverse methods are used in different countries to protect such high value and quality products, whether through sui generis systems to protect appellations of origin or geographical indications, or by resorting to the trademark system, using collective marks and certification marks (see chart).
By means of the Geneva Act of the Lisbon Agreement for the Protection of Appellations of Origin and Geographical Indications, adopted on May 20, 2015 in Geneva, the current Lisbon System is updated and modernized, now allowing for the international registration of geographical indications, in addition to the appellations of origin. The possibility to register geographical indications on an international level enables producers to protect their products’ distinctive designations in the international realm. The Geneva Act also takes into consideration the needs of the countries which use the trademarks system to protect geographical indications.