MONDAY, 11 MAY 2015
Lisbon Revision Conference: MARQUES cares, MARQUES is there!
The MARQUES GI TEAM is being represented at ALL 11 days of the Diplomatic Conference for the Adoption of a new Act of the Lisbon Agreement for the Protection of Appellations of Origin and their International Registration which is currently being held on Geographical Indications. In addition the MARQUES GI Team Members who have attended all 10 Working Group Meetings and the Preparatory Diplomatic Conference Committee Meeting attend at their own cost (unlike other NGOs, which are funded to attend) because they sincerely believe in the importance of the work of the Diplomatic Conference in making headway at the international level on the issue of the coexistence of trade marks and GIs.
In attendance on day one were Miguel Angel Medina, Keri Johnston and Ortrun Gunzel. In addition, Team Members monitored a live broadcast of the Diplomatic Conference remotely on the WIPO website. Numerous websites were also monitored for press releases, including WIPO, by Alessandro Sciarra.
The Diplomatic Conference is the culmination of the work undertaken by the Member States of the Lisbon Union, Observers from the Member States of WIPO, and NGOs including MARQUES at 10 Working Group Meetings held between March 2009 October 2014.
The proliferation of suboptimal bilateral agreements between the EU and numerous countries from 2003 to the present has resulted in the need for a multilateral agreement to create legal certainty for trademark owners whose brands tend to thrive in an atmosphere of legal harmonization.
Moreover, what has been characterized in the past by a polarization of viewpoints is now marked by what can be a beneficial association between brand owners and GIs. On the other hand, the proliferation of bilateral agreements has also created increased legal for those brand owners who are uncertain of the level of protection to which they might be entitled but for the inability to reconcile the polarized state of play at the International level (primarily seen as a US versus EU dichotomy).
From May 11 to 21 all 188 Member States of WIPO, including the 28 Members of the current Lisbon Union, were invited to join the gathering in Geneva for a Diplomatic Conference which seeks to revise the 57 year-old Lisbon Agreement with the intention of expanding the current membership. As a preliminary matter the United States backed by other Member States sought to gain full participation and voting rights for all Member States of WIPO. This followed on a motion brought by Israel at the last Preparatory Committee Meeting held at the conclusion of the discussions of the 10th Working Group. A vote being taken, there was not sufficient support within the Member States of Lisbon to support the expansion of voting rights to non-members of Lisbon. Legal Counsel for WIPO had confirmed for the Member States of WIPO that there was no legal requirements for the Lisbon Member States to include non-members. On a similar note, the Rules for the Diplomatic Conference were also confirmed, at which points Member States of Lisbon, Member States of WIPO, and then NGOs made opening Statements
Day 1 of the Diplomatic Conference ended with a cocktail hour hosted by WIPO.
You can check out the MARQUES GI Team here.
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