Which denominations can be registered?

To be eligible to be registered as a Protected Appellation of Origin (PAO) or a Protected Geographical Indication (PGI), a denomination must correspond to the definitions in the ordinance on the non-agricultural PAO and PGI register.


Characteristics of a PAO or PGI

Only a purely verbal denomination can be registered as a PAO or PGI. This denomination can be the name of a country, a region or a place (e.g. a town or city). It can also be a traditional name, namely a denomination that although is not the name of a place, is clearly associated with a defined geographical origin in the mind of the public.



A denomination must be actually used in relation to the products concerned by identifying an essential or exclusive link between the quality, the characteristics or the reputation of the product and its geographical origin. Generic denominations cannot be registered as PAO or PGI because the public has no particular expectations as to the geographical origin of the product.


Link between the product and its geographical origin

A PAO or a PGI identifies a special link between the geographical origin and a particular product, whereas an indication of source applies to all products and all services. For the registration of a PAO or PGI, the link between the characteristics of the product and its geographical origin is embodied in the product specification. In the case of several types of products identified by the same denomination, a separate application for registration must be submitted for each of the products individually.


You can send your questions concerning appellations of origin and geographical indications for non-agricultural products to our experts by email.
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