The first meeting of the experts of the Working Group for the Preparation of Common Regulations under the Lisbon Agreement and the Geneva Act of the Lisbon Agreement took place in Geneva on 7-9 June.
The meeting was attended by 20 EU Member States of the Lisbon Union, including the Republic of Moldova and also 25 states with observer status. As observers were present representatives of the international intergovernmental organizations and of the international non-governmental organizations.
The group was established by Member States’ decision taken at the 32nd session of the Assembly of the Lisbon Union which was held from 5 to 14 October 2015.
The purpose of establishing the Group is the preparation of the Common Regulations under the Lisbon Agreement and the Geneva Act of the Lisbon Agreement.
The need to establish the Common Regulations results from the fact that the Lisbon System is currently governed by the Lisbon Agreement for the Protection of Appellations of Origin and Their International Registration of October 31, 1958, as revised in Stockholm on July 14, 1967. However, with the entry into force of the Geneva Act of the Lisbon Agreement on Appellations of Origin and Geographical Indications of May 20, 2015, the International Bureau will have responsibility for the administration of two different international instruments related to the international registration procedure for appellations of origin and geographical indications, namely the 1967 Act and the Geneva Act.
The two Acts mentioned are implemented by two Regulations, namely:
- the Regulations under the Lisbon Agreement for the Protection of Appellations of Origin and Their International Registration, as amended on January 01, 2016;
- the Regulations under the Geneva Act of the Lisbon Agreement on Appellations of Origin and Geographical Indications, which are not yet in force.
In order to provide users with a single set of Regulations all Member States accepted to propose at the time of entry into force of the Geneva Act the Common Regulations.
Thus, the International Bureau has prepared the Draft Common Regulations which was discussed at the first meeting of the Working Group for the Preparation of the Common Regulation for the implementation of the Lisbon Agreement and the Geneva Act thereof.
At the same time, in the same Working Group was brought up for discussion the financial sustainability of the Lisbon Union, a topic widely discussed both within the Diplomatic Conference on the adoption of the Geneva Act and the General Assembly of the Member States of WIPO in 2015.
Following discussions, three members of the Lisbon Union (FR, IT, MX) had announced their readiness to make voluntary payments in order to eliminate the budget deficit of the Lisbon Union for the years 2016-2017.
In the group was also discussed the long-term financial sustainability of the Lisbon Union. In this regard will be discussed inclusively a possible gradual increase in fees and the establishment of a system of contributions from the Member States. In addition, delegations emphasized the importance of the promotion of the Lisbon System in order to attract new Contracting Parties and new applications for the protection of AO and GI.
The meeting was also attended by the Republic of Moldova, being represented by Natalia Mogol, Deputy Chief of Trademarks and Industrial Design Department, State Agency on Intellectual Property (AGEPI).
Moldova is a member of the Lisbon Union since 2001, and on 11 April 2016 signed the Geneva Act.