A swirling celebration of geographical indications

08.12.2023 | Indications of source, IPI

Together with oriGIn, the Organization for an International Geographical Indications Network, the IPI invited delegates of the Committee on Development and Intellectual Property (CDIP) of the World Intellectual Property Organization to celebrate the second anniversary of Switzerland’s accession to the Geneva Act of the Lisbon Agreement on Appellations of Origin and Geographical Indications.

“The continued development of the Lisbon System is of great importance for trade mark holders throughout the world, as it provides information on the names that are protected as GIs.” Catherine Chammartin, Director General of the IPI, underlined the importance of the Lisbon System for the international protection of geographical indications in a transparent and inclusive manner. Meanwhile the Director General of WIPO, Daren Tang, pointed out that “GIs are more than just legal rights, or even branding tools – they are a powerful means of facilitating trade, sustaining local jobs, and preserving skills and crafts passed from generation to generation.”

The event was an opportunity to demonstrate the interest of countries from all over the world in the development of the Lisbon System and in geographical indications in general. The Ambassador of Cambodia H.E. Prasith Suon, the Ambassador of Tunisia H. E. Bachtobji Sabri and the representative of India Dr. Rajesh Sharma also testified to the importance of geographical indications: these are initiatives that promote the autonomy of producer communities and local socio-economic development, particularly in remote or disadvantaged regions, and are powerful catalysts for innovation in all areas: collective organisation, sustainability, promotion, packaging, traceability, etc. With this in mind, international cooperation is needed now more than ever.

The event also saw the presentation of the first international registration certificate under the Lisbon System for a Swiss denomination, the Tête de Moine PDO cheese. Representatives of the Tête de Moine Interprofessional Organization had travelled from the Jura mountains to share their expertise in making the famous ‘rosettes’ (cheese flowers).

Those attending the cocktail party were then treated to a taste of origin: Kampot pepper from Cambodia, Teboursouk olive oil from Tunisia and Darjeeling tea from India proved to be perfect accompaniments to the Swiss PDO cheeses!