31 October 2023

The European Council has formally adopted a regulation on geographical indication protection for craft and industrial products (the ‘Regulation’). The Regulation is due to come into force in November 2023.

The Regulation introduces a new EU-wide system for protecting the geographical indications of craft and industrial products, including jewellery, textiles and glass. Specific examples include Murano glass from Venice and Donegal tweed from County Donegal, Ireland. The Regulation supplements the existing geographic protection available for food, wines, spirits, and agricultural products at EU-level, a framework which has been in place since 1992.

A geographical indication (‘GI’) protects the name used on products that originate from a specific location and which have qualities or a reputation linked to their location of production. Eligibility for GI protection under the Regulation will also require that at least one production step has taken place in the defined geographical area. The aim of a GI is to provide consumers with a guarantee of origin by preventing the misuse of protected names by imitation products. The GI enforcement regime varies from EU Member State to Member State, but in principle GIs confer collective rights on producers of products which comply with the requirements of the relevant GI.

Under the Regulation producers will be able to file their GI applications with the designated authorities in their own Member State. If the local authorities consider that the application meets the criteria for GI protection the application will then be sent to the EUIPO for evaluation and approval. Producers in Member States without a national evaluation procedure can apply directly to the EUIPO.

Prior to the Regulation, Member States operated their own schemes (if at all) and producers had to apply for protection in multiple Member States. As a result of the Regulation, any such national protection schemes will cease to have effect one year after the Regulation comes into force.


The new Regulation will be welcomed by local EU producers able to meet the criteria able for protection. The Regulation’s impact will also be felt beyond the EU: protection will be available for non-European product names for countries with qualifying international agreements with the EU; non-EU applicants will be able to apply (subject to meeting the necessary criteria); and the Regulation will enable the EU’s accession to the Geneva Act of the Lisbon Agreement 2015, an international treaty which will facilitate a system of international registration of GIs through a single registration procedure for both agricultural products and craft and industrial products.

This article was written by Alison Brennan. For more information or if you have any questions, please contact Alison, Emily Roberts (Partner) or your usual IP team contact.

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