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Sunday, 8 January 2006

GI CHANGES AND WHAT'S NEW IN THE ECJ


EU amends geographical indication rules
The Jamaica Observer reports that the European Commission has announced changes to the European geographical indications system. Under the new scheme, non-EU nationals wanting the protection of an EU GI will no longer have to show that their country operates a reciprocal scheme. The changes follow criticisms of the EU scheme made by the WTO in March 2005, where the EU system was identified as discriminating against non-EU nationals. Additionally, third country operators will be able to submit PGI applications directly, without the need for them to rely on their governments.


You can read the Commission’s press release here

The IPKat thinks this is a good move. As a matter of principle, if the geographical indication of a product is something worth protecting, it’s worth protecting whether the product originates from inside the EU or from outside it.

This week in the ECJ

This Thursday, the ECJ will deliver its judgment in two important cases:

1. Deutsche SiSi-Werke v OHIM – this case concerns the registrability of the shape of pouches for drinks. The IPKat predicts that the ECJ will role out its usual spiel about the principles of registrability being the same in relation to every type of trade mark, before finding that the CFI did not err in finding that the decision lacked distinctiveness.
2. Ruiz-Picasso v OHIM – this case concerns the question of the scope of extended protection given to the names of famous people which are registered as trade marks. The IPKat rather liked the Advocate General’s opinion in this one, even though it wasn’t entirely clear, and hopes that the ECJ follows it.

There’s lots of exciting IP cases coming up before the ECJ in the next couple of weeks. Keep visiting the IPKat for the latest information.

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