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26 February 2020 - The Geneva Act of the Lisbon Agreement has entered into force!

The Geneva Act of the Lisbon Agreement entered into force on February 26, 2020, allowing the international registration of appellations of origin to be extended to geographical indications as well as the introduction of this simplified procedure to new territories.

As a reminder, the Lisbon Agreement of 1958 enables the owner of a national or regional appellation of origin to obtain protection of the distinctive sign in all the territories of the contracting parties to the Lisbon Agreement, 30 countries, through a single registration with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).

Since the entry into force of the Geneva Act, the single registration has been extended to geographical indications, which allows the specificities of national systems to be taken into account. This extension is a major step forward in the defense and enhancement of geographical indications, and reinforces the effectiveness of their protection worldwide.

In addition, the Geneva Act introduces several elements of flexibility into the Lisbon system. Member States are now free to choose the legislation under which they provide for such protection. In particular, they may decide to protect products registered under this system, through a sui generis protection regime, a national trademark protection system, or by some other method.

Finally, the system is now available to intergovernmental organizations with jurisdiction over the protection of appellations of origin and geographical indications, which can now accede to the Geneva Act. Thus, the European Union acceded to the Geneva Act on November 26, 2019.